Parental cultural socialization and perception of discrimination as antecedents for transracial adoptees’ ethnic identity

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Ethnic identity has been explored mainly among minorities and only recently among transracial adoptees. This process is particularly complex because adoptees do not share their heritage with their adoptive families. Research has demonstrated that ethnic identity is positively correlated with adoptees’ self-esteem and psychological well being and that it is enhanced by parents’ cultural socialization, but these studies were mainly carried out in the U.S. cultural context. Moreover identity construction is embedded within the social network and empirical results showed that high levels of discrimination increase the social group identification among minority’s members as a means of protecting their individual well-being. However, there is a lack of research exploring this issue in transracial adoptees. To partially fill this gap, the current study was carried out: it focuses on the factors promoting or hindering transracial adoptees’ ethnic identity, in particular parents’ cultural socialization and the perception of social discrimination. 128 transracially adoptees living in Italy (15 to 25 years of age) and one of their parents filled out a questionnaire. Analysis, using the Structural Equation Model, showed that parents play a vital role helping the adoptees in the construction of their ethnic identity through their cultural socialization strategies, whereas the perception of social discrimination undermines the ethnic identity construction. The results will be discussed in light of their potential practical implications.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)103-108
Numero di pagine6
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013


  • Transracial adoption
  • adolescence
  • cultural socialization
  • ethnic discrimination


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