Date of Conferral







Kristen R. Beyer


Adoption-focused psychoeducation is deemed essential in maintaining the permanency of traumatized children within a new family unit. However, adoptive parents of traumatized children struggle to find training to address their unique concerns. Guided by the lens of psychodynamic theory, the purpose of this study was to investigate the challenges faced by adoptive families of traumatized children. Special focus was placed on the social and emotional relationships of the adoptive parents of traumatized children, to identify the realistic expectations towards attachment from the families' perspectives. Fifteen families were randomly selected to participate in this study from a group of 30 parents who adopted traumatized children in Arizona. A phenomenological approach was utilized to gather information from face-to-face and telephone interviews. The data analysis utilized the horizontalization approach which highlighted significant statements that were classified into codes. Thematic categories were drawn and summarized. Textual descriptions evolved from the thematic groups acknowledging their experiences and how these lived experiences guided their decision to adopt a traumatized child. Verification techniques, data mining, journaling, clustering, brainstorming, and peer reviews were used to ensure the quality of data. Emergent themes emphasized the need for adoption-focused training specific to traumatized children. Further research on this phenomenon should determine the significance of specialized psychoeducational training versus general foster care training, before and after adoption. Positive social change may result in tailoring existing training programs to meet the needs of families who adopt traumatized children.