Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Joseph D. Sobol

Committee Members

Delanna Reed, Renee Lyons


In a study of the application of storytelling to adoptive family bonding, sensemaking, and cultural adjustment, I selected 12 world folktales for adoptive families to use as oral storytelling activities. I designed and facilitated a workshop for 7 adoptive families focusing on how to select, to learn, and to tell stories as well as how to play story-based games with their children. Each adult told 1 of the 12 folktales, played 1 or 2 of 37 games (12 traditional games, 25 storybased games), and shared reactions and interactions of family members. Using the term “story talk” to describe conversational byplay following the storytelling experiences, family members’ responses to interview questions were coded to interpret levels of sensemaking, attachment, and cultural adjustment through the storytelling process. The parents also described the levels at which their chosen folktale helped adoptees to understand cultural and personal identity within the modern-day adoption process.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.