Toby Buchanan

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Maria Scannapieco


The purpose of this study was to explore the role of family resilience theory in relation to the healthy adjustment of transnationally adopted children. The research was guided by two research questions: 1). What is the relationship between family resilience and the overall adjustment of children adopted from outside of the United States? 2). What family resilience variables are most highly predictive of better adjusted and not as well adjusted adoptees? The investigation also included two research hypotheses: 1). Significant differences exist between families of international adoptees that are better adjusted and those that are not as well adjusted. 2). Length of exposure to a more resilient family leads to better adjustment outcomes among adoptees. An online web-based self-report survey was created in order to obtain important demographic information about each family and adoptee. In addition, the Family Resilience Assessment Scale (FRAS) was used to measure family resilience and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL 6-18) was used to measure child adjustment. In order to address these questions, a sample of 254 families of international adoptees was obtained from various agencies, support networks and/or referrals from within the United States. The sample consisted of a convenience, snowball sampling technique. Several statistical methods were used in order to examine the research questions, including linear regression, t-test, ANOVA, chi-square and descriptive statistics. The results of the study indicate that family resilience is predictive of better adjustment among transnationally adopted children. Family resilience variables found to predict better adjustment among international adoptees included; Family Communication and Problem Solving (FCPS), Maintaining a Positive Outlook (MPO) and Family Spirituality (FS). Significant differences were found between families of better adjusted and not as well adjusted adoptees. In addition, results from the study indicate that time spent in a family scoring higher on family resilience predicted better adjustment among international adoptees.


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons