A Framework for Use with Racially and Culturally Integrated Families: The Cultural-Racial Identity Model as Applied to Transracial Adoption

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A new model for understanding and depicting the unique identity experiences of those reared in racially and/or culturally integrated families is presented. The model accounts for heterogeneity within groups defined by their racially integrated families. For the purpose of describing and presenting the model, it was applied to the unique experiences of transracial adoptees. The model allows distinctions to be made between racial identity and cultural identity. These distinctions comprise 16 proposed identities of transracial adoptees and are made up of the degrees to which they have knowledge of, awareness of, competence within, and comfort with their own racial group's culture, their parents' racial group's culture, and multiple cultures as well as the degree to which they are comfortable with their racial group membership and with those belonging to their own racial group, their parents' racial group, and multiple racial groups. A model for understanding the role of parents, extended families, and social and environmental contexts was also presented as a guide for demonstrating the factors impacting the cultural-racial identities of transracial adoptees or others from racially and/or culturally integrated families.



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