A path analysis of a cultural and racial socialization model in international transracial adoption: racial awareness, self-efficacy, and socialization practices
Background. Research has shown that international transracial adoptive (ITRA) parents actively engage their adoptees in cultural activities related to the adoptees’ birth culture. However, some parents are less aware of the importance of racial socialization practices for their adoptees. As the importance of such parenting practices in ITRA adoptees’ ethnic identity formation has been proved, researchers have explored factors that may increase such socialization practices. Post adoption education/training have been revealed as factors that enhance adoptive parents’ racial awareness and practices in cultural and racial socialization, but little empirical research has examined the role of racial awareness and self-efficacy in a socialization model. Thus, the purpose of this study was to test a conceptual model using path analysis to examine direct and indirect relationships among factors contributing to ITRA parents’ cultural and racial socialization practices.
Methods. This study used a cross-sectional, online survey design. A convenience sample was recruited through parenting support groups across the United States from January to March 2012. A total of 310 cases were included. The majority of the participants (90%) were White mothers of Chinese children. The average age was 48.30 years (SD = 7.10). Two major measures were included: 1) the 47-Transracial Adoption Parenting Scale – Revised to assess racial awareness and cultural and racial socialization practices, and 2) the 10-item Socialization Self-Efficacy Scale to assess motivation and beliefs regarding their ability to raise children from a different race and culture. Using Mplus, the path analysis tested a structural model of observed variables using a single indicator technique. The following fit indices for the model were examined: χ2(11) = 20.05 (p = .05), RMSEA = .05, SRMR = .04, CFI = .98, and TLI = .96, which suggested a reasonably good fit of the model.
Results. Results suggested that racial awareness is a core factor that directly influences racial socialization practices. Socialization self-efficacy was proved to be a mediating variable in the path between racial awareness and cultural socialization practices as well as in the path between racial awareness and racial socialization practices. Post-adoption training or knowledge and skills obtained from support groups are likely to increase racial awareness and racial socialization practices.
Implications. The most important factor is racial awareness, which results from post-adoption training or a parenting support group. Researchers may be interested in further examination of the cultural and racial socialization model to address the parenting needs of ITRA parents, and ultimately to support the healthy ethnic and racial identity formation of transracial adoptees.