I recently met with Dr. Hal Grotevant, the Rudd Family Foundation Chair and amazing researcher whose scholarly work focuses on families, adoption, and the processes therein!!
For those wishing more familiarity with his work, he has a fantastic career spanning several decades. Some fascinating (and influential) articles from his career include:
- Grotevant, H. D. (1987). Toward a process model of identity formation. Journal of Adolescent Research, 2(3), 203-222.
- Grotevant, H. D., & Cooper, C. R. (1985). Patterns of interaction in family relationships and the development of identity exploration in adolescence. Child Development, 56(2), 415-428.
- Grotevant, H. D., & Cooper, C. R. (2005). Individuality and connectedness in adolescent development. Personality Development in Adolescence: A Cross National and Life Span Perspective. Elisabeth E, Skoe AE (Eds.), London, New York. Routledge, 3-37.
- Grotevant, H. D., Dunbar, N., Kohler, J. K., & Esau, A. M. L. (2000). Adoptive identity: How contexts within and beyond the family shape developmental pathways. Family Relations, 49(4), 379-387.
- Grotevant, H. D., & McDermott, J. M. (2014). Adoption: Biological and social processes linked to adaptation. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 235-265.
- Grotevant, H. D., & McRoy, R. G. (1998). Openness in adoption: Exploring family connections. Sage.
- Grotevant, H. D., McRoy, R. G., Elde, C. L., & Fravel, D. L. (1994). Adoptive family system dynamics: Variations by level of openness in the adoption. Family Process, 33(2), 125-146.
Meet Dr. Grotevant:
Our conversation spanned topics on his background, training, and the development of his research program. There are several notable moments, but in the following clip Dr. Grotevant described how things got started with Catherine Cooper in the mid-1980’s at University of Texas, Austin. In late 1970, Grotevant and Cooper successfully were funded for the Family Process Project — critical work which seeded many of the ideas used in the Minnesota/Texas Adoption project (with Ruth McRoy, and among the most successful longitudinal studies on adoption ever conducted) and flourished with new techniques and theoretical developments over the past 40 years.
Here is Dr. Grotevant describing the development of the approach that he and Dr. Cooper took:
In conversation, Dr. Grotevant shared about his start with research, his family, the difficult decisions of his life, and about his interactions with adopting families. I hope you will enjoy hearing about some of the context for his work. In his words, (and in the clip provided) he describes how the project required a cross-disciplinary approach, borrowing on methods from sociology, family therapy, developmental psychology, linguistics, and others. As he describes, it wasn’t easy, but it was intense, thrilling, and engaging!
*Image of Hal Grotevant in his office, flanked by Santorini, a beautiful dream vacation (he’s not yet been) and a remembrance poster with many supportive notes and signatures from his colleagues when he left his previous position to fulfill the Rudd chair at U Mass, Amherst (flagship campus). In speaking with Dr. Grotevant it is clear that he has gratitude for the past and the opportunities he’s been afforded and an eye on the future and great things to come!