Sense of belonging, sense of exclusion, and racial and ethnic identities in Korean transracial adoptees

Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2010 Apr;16(2):179-90. doi: 10.1037/a0015727.


Although many Korean transracial adoptees (KTAs) have White European American (WEA) family members, their racial features place them in the minority group. Thus, they navigate the meanings of race and culture from two reference groups: the majority WEA group and the Korean American group. This study explored the processes through which perceptions of group meanings and sense of belonging and exclusion related to the development of racial and ethnic identities. Fourteen adult KTAs in the Northeast participated in interviews analyzed using grounded theory methodology. Results indicated that KTAs' racial and ethnic identities were coconstructed in relation to experiences of belonging and exclusion with their families and both WEA and Korean American groups.

MeSH terms

  • Adoption*
  • Adult
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Continental Population Groups*
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Culture
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Identification*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult