Transracial Adoptive Family Development: The Implications For Adoption And Contextual Factors On Social Support, Parenting Self-efficacy And Cultural Socialization

Open Access
Chester, Charlene Elizabeth
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
June 12, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Jenae Marie Neiderhiser, Dissertation Advisor
  • Jenae Marie Neiderhiser, Committee Chair
  • Alysia Yvonne Blandon, Committee Member
  • Pamela Marie Cole, Committee Member
  • Susan S Woodhouse, Committee Member
  • transracial adoption
  • cultural socialization
  • social support
  • parenting self-efficacy
Transracial adoptions are unique in that the physical differences between the adopted child and the adoptive parents are frequently very visible and, because of this visibility, the families may be more affected by the stigma that society places on adoptive families. Challenges faced by these families may be stressful and may increase the likelihood that adoptive parents will rely on relatives and other individuals for support. These unique demands are likely to have implications for the development of adoptive parents’ sense of parenting self-efficacy. Another salient factor that may be important for understanding transracial adoptive family processes is cultural socialization which may have implications for parenting self-efficacy and/or may be influenced by parents’ feelings of parenting self-efficacy. The aims of the study were (1) to examine the association between perceived social support, parenting self-efficacy and cultural socialization within transracial adoptive families, (2) to examine how the adoption-related factors of openness and satisfaction with the adoption are associated with cultural socialization and (3) to examine how the association between perceived social support, parenting self-efficacy and cultural socialization is moderated by personal factors. Participants were drawn from the Early Growth and Development Study (EGDS) in two cohorts. Results demonstrated associations between perceived social support and parenting self-efficacy. Perceived social support differed depending upon the race/ethnicity of the adopted child. Cultural socialization practices varied between families who adopted Black non-Hispanic children and White Hispanic children, and between those who adopted girls rather than boys. Reasons for adopting transracially moderated the association between parenting self-efficacy and cultural socialization. The implications for the findings and future directions are discussed.