Overlooked Adoptees: The Effects of COVID-19 Racism and Ethnic Identity on the Psychological Well-Being of Chinese Transracial Adoptees in the United States

Zoe E. Seymore

Name: Zoe E. Seymore
Major: Psychology
Minors: Mathematics, Chinese
Advisor: Amber Garcia
Second Reader: Nathan Foster

Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Award

Previous research has shown how Asian Americans have experience discrimination during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and how that discrimination has impacted their mental health (Cheah et al., 2020; Litam & Oh, 2020; McDermott, 2021). Adoptees who experience ethnic-related discrimination have been shown to suffer from various mental and physical stressors, including depression and sleep issues (Ferrari et al., 2017). Thus, this study looked at the effects of perceived discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic and ethnic identity on the psychological well-being of Chinese transracial adoptees in the United States. As a Chinese transracial adoptee, I was very excited to conduct this research project because I have a very strong connection to the adoptee community. Additionally, after my own experiences with mental health during this time, I wanted to see how similar or different the experiences were for other adoptees. My results indicate that adoptee identity, ethnic identity, and prejudice were not significant predictors for psychological well-being. However, ethnic identity was found to be a significant predictor of collective self-esteem, which is related to social group identity. Moreover, common themes surrounding connecting with Chinese and adoptee identity were shown through interview analyses. It would be interesting to see if these results vary by adoption and living country and if they change overtime. Overall, my paper shows how unique adoptee identity is and the implications that ethnic identity has on adoptees. While adoptees may feel in-between two identities, they deserve to be heard just the same.

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2023 on April 13, 2023.

3 responses to “Overlooked Adoptees: The Effects of COVID-19 Racism and Ethnic Identity on the Psychological Well-Being of Chinese Transracial Adoptees in the United States”

  1. Bryan Karazsia says:

    Dear Zoe – Thank you for sharing this important work with our community! I wish you very well on symposium day!

  2. Prof Cowing says:

    What an important project. Thank you for sharing this work!

  3. Mark Graham says:

    Hi Zoe — this is such interesting work. Thank you for doing it, and for sharing it here! And congratulations on the special IS award (and your Fulbright too)!

Related Posts

Alix Printup '23

I.S. research explores psychology’s approach to historical trauma within Indigenous community

Audrey Klosterman '23

Theatre student examines and executes stage adaptation

Zoe Seymour '23

‘Overlooked Adoptees’ I.S. research earns Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award at the Senior Research Symposium

Related Areas of Study


Do research, work with faculty mentors, and tailor a psychology program to your interests

Major Minor


Numbers + patterns + structures multiplied by a zest for analysis and inquiry

Major Minor

Connect with Wooster