Does Reunification Matter?: Differences In The Social Connection To Tribe And Tribal Enrollment Of American Indian Fostered And Adopted Adults.
Landers, Ashley L. Morgan, Amy A.
Published: November 2018
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 94 , p. 347-352
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Studies of American Indian adults who were separated from their families of origin during childhood by foster care and/or adoption are emerging. This study fills a gap within the literature by exploring differences in social connection to tribe and tribal enrollment among reunified and non-reunified American Indian adults (n = 129). Grounded in identity theory, this study utilized data from the Experiences of Adopted and Fostered Individuals Project. Social connection to tribe was significantly higher for those who reunified (M = 70.0) than for those who had not (M = 42.0) (U = 689.50, p < .001). The overall ordinary least squares regression model was statistically significant (R2 = 0.150, F(7,121) = 3.05, p < .01) and reunification was a statistically significant factor associated with social connection to tribe (β = 0.28, p < .01). The chi-square test revealed the relationship between reunification and tribal enrollment was statistically significant, χ2(1, n = 129) = 14.01, p < .001. Reunified participants were more likely to be enrolled. The overall logistic regression model was statistically significant (χ2(7) = 19.97, p < .01) and reunified participants were 8 times more likely to be enrolled (OR = 8.73, 95% CI = 2.51, 30.35). Reunification remains a pressing priority, as fostered and adopted individuals are “welcomed home” across tribal communities. (Author abstract)
family reunification; Native Americans; adopted adults; transracial adoption; identity development; TRIBES