Date of Conferral







Kizzy Dominguez


A plethora of studies have focused on transracial adoption. While these studies have looked at identity development and/or adjustment, they lacked the investigation into some possible causes to include feelings of belongingness as well as socioeconomic status. The current study explored the lack of cultural socialization and belongingness of people adopted into an environment culturally dissimilar from their birth culture. The nonexperimental, correlational design study examined the relationship between adjustment and identity development, and the impact of transracial adoption when considering socioeconomic status and skin tone. The New Immigrant Survey Skin Color Scale, Multiethnic Identity Measure, and Measure of Psychosocial Development test were administered to a purposeful sample of 119 adult transracial adoptees who were adopted prior to age 13.The analysis utilized both a linear regression and hierarchical linear regression. The results indicated there was a significant positive relationship between socioeconomic status and ethnic identity; however, socioeconomic status had no significant impact on psychosocial adjustment. The results also indicated that skin tone difference had no significant impact on the relationship between psychosocial adjustment and ethnic identity. This research can impact social change by guiding social services organizations, adoption agencies, and mental health professionals in their handling and process of transracial adoptions through providing resources both pre and post adoption to both the adoptee as well as the adoptive family.