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To preface this; this is a rough draft SOP for one specific program. I don't really like my intro, I want that I'm adopted to be in there somewhere but idk about the rest. I also want to make sure I have a good balance between what I have done and what I want to do, so advice on that would be helpful. And lastly I want to make sure my last two paragraphs are clear enough for why I'm choosing school X and that they wrap up the paper well. 

 

As an adopted person, adoption influences my every thought, action, and interaction with my environment. From questioning my identity, to being told that I should be lucky my parents adopted me, my personal experience has motivated to investigate the consequences that adoption has on an adoptee’s ability to develop attachment relationships.  
    While there is existing research on how prior experience with neglect and abuse can impact the quality of attachment relationships achieved by adoptees, there has been little research on how adoptive parents’ motivations for adoption can impact parent-child attachment relationships. Adoptive parents may have a multitude of reasons for choosing to adopt rather than have biological children, whether it is due to infertility, personal experiences with adoption, or something else entirely. I hypothesize that the varying motivations for adoption will correlate to different levels of parental sensitivity which will result in changes to the quality of parent-child attachment. 
    I have had the opportunity to work in multiple labs that have helped prepare me to investigate these topics in graduate school. My first undergraduate research experience was working in the X Lab. The X lab has allowed me to learn more about psychophysiological processes by conducting experiments that utilize blood pressure, cortisol levels, facial flushing, and heart rate. I hope to use psychophysiology to develop a more comprehensive picture of attachment quality in my future studies. In addition to the X Lab, I have also had the opportunity to assist with data collection for Project Y. Through Y I have gained direct experience with children and families from a variety of backgrounds. This firsthand experience with a family population has allowed me to watch families grow and change over the course of a longitudinal study while also learning about the different methods of data collection used when working with children. My most recent lab experience, Z, has strengthened my observational coding skills and has allowed me direct contact with adoptive families.
    The project that I am most proud of is my investigation into name. While this project started out as an experiment for a class, I took it upon myself to get the most out of the opportunities I had been given. I spent hours outside of class working on this project with another student and we eventually presented the results as a poster presentation at two different conferences. This project was the first project that I was able to see develop from start to finish. Of all my experiences I feel that this one has prepared me the most for graduate school because of how involved I was able to be, from developing the idea, to selecting the measures, completing data collection and analysis, all the way to presentation. 
    It was after working on this project and developing a clear understanding of how research is conducted, that I made the decision to complete an honors thesis. My developing honors thesis is an investigation of how socioeconomic status impedes securely attached children’s ability to regulate their heart rate during a strange situation task. I hypothesize that children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds will have a slower return to baseline than those from other backgrounds due to the influence of chronic stress associated with low socioeconomic status. If this hypothesis is correct, it would support the conclusion that the protective factors associated with a secure attachment are not enough to mitigate the negative physiological influence of low socioeconomic status. This project represents the unification of my previous research experiences and I believe that these experiences will likewise assist me in my ability to conduct research on the graduate level.
    I am excited for the opportunity to work with Dr. name because I believe that with his guidance, an investigation into the relationship between motivations for adoption and parental sensitivity will expand upon existing the knowledge of how attachment relationships are formed within the adoption triad. I am most enthusiastic to work with Professor name because of his research on ____________. I feel that these topics will provide a strong theoretical base for my research interests. 
    While I’m mostly interested in Dr. name's work, I feel that my abilities would be equally appreciated by the name Collaborative. The multi-method research approach is very appealing to me as a researcher and my ideas would fit well within the department. More specifically, I believe that my background in psychophysiology allows me to look at attachment behavior more holistically. 
    By developing a clearer picture of how adoption influences the lives of adoptees, it is my hope that preventative programs can be created to reduce the negative life outcomes that are frequently associated with adoption. I believe that a PhD from name will assist me in becoming a competent researcher within the developmental psychology community and that my findings will directly contribute to this development.   

Edited by JaniceMontgomery

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