With the influx of transracial, intercountry adoptees just now ebbing, it is time to look at the long-term effects of this supposedly philanthropic act. While there are pros and cons to transracial, intercountry adoption, one area that has sparked recent controversy and debate is the effect of transracial, intercountry adoption on the formation of the adoptees’ identities. Based upon Christiansen’s model, the primary components of identity are self, self-concept, and self-esteem (1999). Through a mixed methods approach, utilization of the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale, a verified measurement for self-concept, and semi-structured interviews, the self-concept and the subgroup of self-concept, ethnic identity, of 5 East Asian, transracial, intercountry adoptees adopted into a Caucasian household, was explored to discover the impact of their environmental and sociocultural context. The four goals at the root of the research revolved around the self-concept of the transracial, intercountry adoptees, their perspective of their ethnic identity, discovering reoccurring themes that impacted the ethnic identity of the adoptees, and the importance of cultural competency in these scenarios. The result of this study suggested transracial, intercountry adoption negatively affected the self-concept of the adoptees.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-11-2015


Kathy Splinter-Watkins

Mentor Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)