Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Social Work

First Advisor

Enid O. Cox, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Susan Manning

Third Advisor

Jean East

Fourth Advisor

Kathy Green

Fifth Advisor

Cynthia McRae


Family practice, International adoption, Racial and ethnic identity, Self-perception, Socialization, Transracial adoption


This study examined the nature and meaning of racial and ethnic identity as described by adult Asian adoptees who were transracially and internationally adopted. Particular focus of the study examined the racialization experiences and the relationships between racial and ethnic identity and socialization, and identified key influences on self-perception. The intent of this study was to gain insight into how this particular social group negotiated racial issues during different stages of development, while maintaining a sense of self. This study's approach took a narrative form, as participants described the essence of their experience contributing to their racial and ethnic identity and self-perception and how meaning was created in the process of identity development in relation to their social environment. This study included 8 participants, age 25-46, from diverse geographic locations, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age at adoption, and country of birth. The phenomenological approach was used to ascertain the meaning, structure, and the lived experience of this group by inquiring into the truth and reality of their experience, and examined the nature of this knowledge. It was discovered that adult adoptees conceptualized and negotiated racial and ethnic identity, perceptions of self, essential feelings, and finally, self-acceptance as a result of family practices and social environment, in addition to their racialization and the adoption experience.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Cindi Kim


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

251 p.


Social work