Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Korean Americans-Race identity, Korean Americans-Ethnic identity, Intercountry adoption-Korea (South)-Psychological aspects, Interracial adoption-Psychological aspects, Adoptive parents, Cultural competence, Trans-racial adoption, International adoption, Racial identity


This study examines the relationship between parental cultural competence and the development of ethnic/racial identity among a small group of South Korean adoptees raised by White American parents in the United States. There is a growing body of research supporting the hypothesis that parental attitudes and cultural socialization practices impact significantly outcomes related to the development of racial identity among trans-racially adopted children. The research seeks to identify and measure specific characteristics in the familial environments of these Asian trans-racial adoptees which may affect the outcome of the adoptees' racial and ethnic identity in adulthood. To accomplish study goals, information about the familial environments of 22 trans-racially adopted adults born in South Korea and adopted into White American households at very young ages was collected using a modified version of the Transracial Adoptive Parenting Scale. In addition, information about the racial-ethnic identity of participants was collected using the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure. Information collected through these procedures was used to explore the relationship between family characteristics, and parental cultural socialization practices, and adult racial-ethnic identity adjustment. Results suggest that parental beliefs and behaviors supportive of involvement in the adoptee's birth culture and race are associated with the positive ratings of cultural identity by this small sample of South Korean adoptees. The size of the sibling group was also found to be associated with parental competency ratings by adult adoptees and should be considered for inclusion in future studies.




vi, 71 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 52-57)