Representations of Psychological Sense of Community in Children’s Literature about Chinese-Born Adopted Girls

Jacki Fitzpatrick, Erin Kostina-Ritchey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study examines the literary representation of adopted Chinese girls’ psychological sense of community in Chinese-American communities. Psychological sense of community is defined as the perception that an individual is part of an inclusive social network (Hill, 1996). This sense is multi-dimensional; three specific dimensions are living in a bicultural community, participating in cultural festivals, and replicating birth-country food practices (e.g., Frost, 2008; Mannarini & Fedi, 2009). The researchers identified 37 children’s books that featured portrayals of Chinese girls adopted by U.S. families. A content analysis was conducted to determine the extent that the three dimensions were evident in the books. The analysis was based on concepts drawn from the community psychology literature. All three senses of community dimensions are described, and a fourth dimension (compensatory information/symbol) is identified. This last dimension was consistent with literature about immigrant and adoptive populations. Implications of this study for practice/research are noted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-167
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015


  • Asian-American and Pacific Islanders populations
  • adoption
  • biracial
  • children and youth services
  • content analysis
  • multiracial


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