Date of Award

Spring 5-13-1997

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Mary Lou Williams


This thesis examines the roles of identity formation and self-esteem development as interwoven determining factors of successful transracial adoptive placements. Transracially adopted children have the arduous and conflicting tasks of 1) conforming to the family culture, and 2) developing identities that are racially different from those who parent them. The goal of such a placement is for the transracially adopted child(ren) and the adopting family to join together to form a new biracial and bicultural family unit. Using a conceptual framework encompassing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Erikson's Stages of Development, the Dual Perspective, and the Ecosystem Perspective, the author develops a training session for transracially adopting parents, and for professionals involved with out-of-home placement. The training provides participants with parenting strategies and crucial information needed to address the unique and inherent challenges of transracial adoption.


SC 11.MSW.1997.O'Connor.RL

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