Jennifer Aufiero Bumpus is a 2014 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England.


racial identity, resilience, self-esteem, transracial adoption

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This study compared self-reported racial identity, resilience, and self-esteem of three independent sample groups consisting of African American adoptees (N = 45), aged 18–72. One group (n = 25) had been adopted by two Caucasian parents, the second (n= 10) by two African American parents, and the third (n = 10) by a single African American parent. The Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity, Resilience Scale, and Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale were used. Adoptees had higher levels of racial identity when they had been adopted by two African American parents as opposed to two Caucasian parents. Racial identity for adoptees with single African American parents did not differ significantly from either adoptees with two African American parents or adoptees with two Caucasian parents. Resilience was significantly higher for adoptees with two African American parents than for both transracial adoptees and adoptees with a single African American parent. No significant differences regarding self-esteem were found among the three sample groups. As predicted, resilience was positively correlated with racial identity. Contrary to what was hypothesized, resilience and self-esteem had a significant negative correlation. Two, 1-model, hierarchical multiple regression analyses (HMRA) were performed. For the first HMRA, predictor variables accounted for 54% of the variability in self-esteem, with resilience and racial identity negatively correlated with self-esteem. For the second HMRA, predictor variables accounted for 68% of the variability in resilience. Implications of the results, parenting styles of transracial adoptive parents, the author's own White racial identity, and future directions for research are discussed.