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Gretchen Wrobel

Job Titles

  • University Professor of Psychology
    Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Professor
    Education K-12 (M.A.), Graduate School

Started at Bethel



  • Hamline University - B.A., 1980
  • University of Minnesota - M.A., 1984
  • University of Minnesota - Ph.D., 1990

Areas of expertise

Wrobel conducts research on curiosity as it affects relationships in adoption, including the adopted person, adoptive parents, and birth parents.


University Professor of Psychology, Bethel University

Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award, Bethel University

Edgren Scholar, Bethel University


Wrobel, G., Grotevant, H.D., Samek, D., Von Korff, L. (2013) Adoptees’ curiosity and information seeking about birth parents in emerging adulthood: Context, motivation, and behavior. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 37(5), 443-452.

Grotevant, H.D., McRoy, R.G., Wrobel, G.M., & Ayers-Lopez, S. (2013). Contact between adoptive and birth families: Perspectives from the Minnesota-Texas Adoption Research Project. Child Development Perspectives, 7(3), 193-198. doi: 10.1111/cdep.12039

Wrobel, G. (2012). Understanding the adoptive family within the context of Christian hospitality. Dialog: A Journal of Theology, 51(4), 313-322. Invited paper.

Skinner-Drawz, B. A., Wrobel, G.M., Grotevant, H.D., & Von Korff, L. (2011). The role of adoption communicative openness in information seeking among adoptees from adolescence to emerging adulthood. Journal of Family Communication, 11,181-197.

Wrobel, G.M. & Neil, E. (Eds.). (2009). International advances in adoption research for practice. London: Wiley.


Wrobel, G. M. (2013, November). Adoptees’ curiosity and information seeking about birth parents in emerging adulthood: Context, motivation, and behavior. In L. LeMare (Chair) Explorations of family processes in adoptive families from childhood to adulthood. Symposium conducted at the 8th biennial meeting of the Society for the Study of Human Development, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Wrobel, G. M. (2013, April). The Adoption Curiosity Pathway for adopted young adults. In H. Grotevant (Chair) The Minnesota Adoption Research Project: Navigating contact from childhood into young adulthood. Invited symposium conducted at the New Worlds of Adoption Conference: Contact Between Adoptive and Birth Families: What works? University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Amherst, MA.

Wrobel, G.M. & Grotevant, H.D. (2010, July). Relational underpinnings of the Adoption Curiosity Pathway. In K. Rosenblum (Chair) Talking and growing together: Dynamics of adoptive family communication. Symposium conducted at the Third International Conference on Adoption Research, Leiden, The Netherlands.