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  1. 1. The Evolution of Cultural Competence in Transracial Adoptive Parents by Latoria S. Fleming, PhD    
  2. 2. Transracial Adoption <ul><li>Definition: Process in which adoptees are placed in an adoptive family of an ethic background that is different from their own. </li></ul><ul><li>First known transracial adoptions in 1945 with the Indian Adoption Project. </li></ul><ul><li>In recent years, there have been roughly 9,000 transracial adoptions, making transracial adoption an estimated 15% of all adoptions. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Opposition to Transracial Adoption <ul><li>Loving vs. Virginia (1967) prohibited “family making between Blacks and Whites”. </li></ul><ul><li>National Association of Black Social Workers took a stand against placing African American children with White families . </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Role of Cultural Competence on Cultural Identity Development <ul><li>Cultural Competence: the awareness, knowledge, and skills that transracial adoptive parents will need in order to help their children achieve positive racial identity development (Vonk 2001). </li></ul><ul><li>It is important that parents obtain a set of particular attitudes, skills, and abilities to meet their children’s racial and cultural needs. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Role of Cultural Competence on Cultural Identity Development <ul><li>Parenting Behaviors: </li></ul><ul><li>Developing friendships with people of the child’s birth culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Purchasing books and toys that reflect the child’s race. </li></ul><ul><li>Talking openly about racism and prejudice. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Relevant Theories <ul><li>Cross’ Model of Nigrescence (1991): progression of African Americans into recognizing and identifying with their race through personal experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Racial/Cultural Identity Development Model (1989): identification of attitudes of individuals regarding themselves, others of the same ethnic background, and those from the dominant culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural-Racial Identity Model (1995): possible degrees to which transracial adoptees identify with their own cultural/racial group and with those of their adoptive parents. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Relevant Theories <ul><li>Common thread among these models is the presence of a supportive parental figure, whether biologically related or non-biological, often taking the role of a culturally similar role model. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Purpose of this Study <ul><li>Cultural competence comes as a result of life experience and encounters that raise an individual’s cultural awareness. (Vonk 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Transracial adoptive parents most likely have not had such a close encounter with another culture prior to their considering the adoption (Crumbley 1999). </li></ul><ul><li>It would seem that this cultural experience, being the first of many, will bring about an awareness that will continue to increase over time. Little research available to verify this assumption. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Need for the Study <ul><li>Results can be used as a guide for adoption agencies in deciding on the appropriateness of transracial adoption. </li></ul><ul><li>Families and adoption professionals will be more informed of the need for continued cultural competence training in most appropriate areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Families who are uncertain about adopting transracially will have validation in their ability to be effective parents. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Research Questions <ul><li>Is there a difference in cultural competence among transracial adoptive parents at different stages (number of years) of adoption? </li></ul><ul><li>What area of cultural competence undergoes the most change from one stage to the next? (multicultural planning, racial awareness, and survival skills) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Method <ul><li>Data were collected from participants at three different stages of adoption (1 to 2 years, 3 to 5 years, and more than 5 years) on the three areas of cultural competence (racial awareness, multicultural planning, and survival skills). </li></ul><ul><li>Data were analyzed via independent ANOVA. The independent variables were then three stages of adoption, while the areas of cultural competence provided the dependent variables. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Participants <ul><li>Transracial adoptive parents that were active members of an online transracial adoption forum. </li></ul><ul><li>One parent per family was recruited to participate. </li></ul><ul><li>Responses were collected from 60 transracial adoptive parents from across 27 states. </li></ul><ul><li>54.29% reported having received some type of training or assessment in transracial adoption. Some of which reported seeking this training on their own. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Participants <ul><li>100% White or Caucasian American. </li></ul><ul><li>70.3% Adopted children as Black or African American, 10.8% as Hispanic or Latin American. </li></ul><ul><li>77.78% married and living with spouse. </li></ul><ul><li>13.89% Never married. </li></ul><ul><li>58.13 % educated above 4 year degree. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Instrumentation <ul><li>Transracial Adoptive Parenting Scale: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A multi-dimensional Likert-type scale consisting of 36 items. Measures cultural competence in three areas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multicultural Planning – the creation o avenues for the child to learn and participate in his or her birth culture. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Racial Awareness – parent’s awareness of how race, ethnicity, and culture affect their own and their children’s lives. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Survival Skills – recognition of the need to prepare their children for issues such as racism and discrimination. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Instrumentation <ul><li>Demographic Data Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provided demographic information of participants. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Given in the form of an online questionnaire. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Included such factors as race, economic status, educational background, family dynamics, and multicultural training. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Procedure <ul><li>Responses were collected from participants over the course of four weeks. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants were recruited through a posting in an online forum which included a hyperlink to the consent form. </li></ul><ul><li>Once consent was received, participants were provided a link to the online questionnaire and scale. </li></ul><ul><li>Scale scores were then calculated and used for analysis. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Limitations of the Study <ul><li>Study only consisted of White middle-class adoptive parents within the US. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants were recruited from informational forums; already biased. </li></ul><ul><li>Only one measurement of transracial adoptive parent cultural competence found. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Results <ul><li>Data from the demographic questionnaire was used to categorize participants into three stages of adoption based on years reported as an adoptive parent. </li></ul><ul><li>Transracial Adoptive parenting scale scores were then computed for each stage and analyzed using independent Analyses of Variance. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Results by Cultural Competence Area Cultural Competence Area Stage of Adoption Mean Score Multicultural Planning Less than 1 to 2 years 68.3 3 to 5 years 72.5 More than 5 years 75.75 Racial Awareness Less than 1 to 2 years 52.45 3 to 5 years 55.90 More than 5 years 58.30 Survival Skills Less than 1 to 2 years 52.85 3 to 5 years 57.10 More than 5 years 60.05
  20. 20. Significance of Results <ul><li>Analysis of Variance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the area of Multicultural Planning, the test of variance in cultural competence was statistically significant, F (2,57)=9.95, p=0.001 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the area of Racial Awareness, the test of variance in cultural competence was statistically significant, F (2,57)=4.73, p=0.012 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the area of Survival Skills, the test of variance in cultural competence was statistically significant, F (2,57)=4.11, p=0.021 </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Follow-Up Test <ul><li>A Tukey follow-up test was used to determine where these significant differences occur. The comparisons indicated that these differences took place from the 1 to 2 years adoption stage to the 5 years or more stage, most significantly in multicultural planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Multicultural Planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Q1 (less than 1 yr – 5 or more yrs) = 3.56 (null rejected) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q2 (less than 1 yr – 3 to 5 yrs) = 1.55 (null retained) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Q3 (3 to 5 yrs – 5 or more yrs) = 2.00 (null retained) </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Discussion <ul><li>Results show that there are significant differences in the cultural competence of transracial adoptive parents, from 1 year of adoption to 5 years or more. </li></ul><ul><li>As the transracial adoptive parent progresses through the years, the more racial and cultural encounters they will experience. Each new experience brings about new racial and cultural awareness, thus creating an increase in cultural competence. </li></ul><ul><li>The significance in difference in multicultural planning can be explained by the continual knowledge and acceptance of other cultures that naturally comes as a result of these experiences. As adoptees become more culturally aware, parents naturally respond by providing new knowledge and experiences to aid in this cultural development. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>It is hoped that the findings of this research are beneficial in understanding the challenges of cultural identity development for transracially adopted children and how these challenges can be magnified by a lack of multicultural education on the part of the adoptive parents. </li></ul>