The Evolution of Cultural Competence in Transracial Adoptive Parents

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Title: The Evolution of Cultural Competence in Transracial Adoptive Parents
Author: Fleming, Latoria Savon
Advisors: Dr. Sylvia Nassar-McMillan, Committee Member
Dr. Rhonda Sutton, Committee Member
Dr. Edwin Gerler, Committee Member
Dr. Stanley Baker, Committee Chair
Abstract: As the number of minority children listed with adoptive services continues to increase, the instances of transracial adoptions become more frequent. Numerous researchers have found that cultural competence and parenting behaviors of transracial adoptive parents are important in helping with this process. Cultural competence can be viewed as a process that comes as a result of life experience and encounters that make an individual aware of the many cultural groups around them. For this study, a cross-sectional research design was chosen to measure the changes in cultural competence over the first five years of adoption. Sixty participants from various ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds were administered the Transracial Adoption Parenting Scale. Data were collected from participants across 27 states. Of the 60 participants, 30.5% had been adoptive parents for less than 1 year, 27.78% had been adoptive parents for 1-2 years, 27.78% had been adoptive parents for 3-5 years, and 13.89% had been adoptive parents for five years or more. The “number of years as an adoptive parent†variable was identified for each participant through a demographic questionnaire prior to administration of the scale. The frequency of responses to the cultural competence variables was then recorded to help determine the presence of a relationship to the “number of years as an adoptive parent†variable. Results of the study indicated that the progression of stages from “1 to 2 years†to “5 or more years†showed significant differences in cultural competence. The area of cultural competence that appeared to have the most significant difference was that of Multicultural Planning suggesting that as transracial adoptive parents progress through the stages, they continuously become more racially aware, and thus more sensitive in this area.
Date: 2008-11-03
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Counselor Education

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