Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Alice S. Carter

Second Advisor

Jean Rhodes

Third Advisor

Kimberly McClain DaCosta


According to the 2010 census report, 9 million people (2.9% of the total population in the United States) identified as multiracial. Of the individuals who identified (or whose parents/guardians identified them) as multiracial, 4.2 million were younger than 18 years of age ( Given that social scientists predict that the multiracial population is increasing so that up to one in five people might identify as multiracial by 2050 (Lee & Bean, 2004), it is critical that researchers examine various aspects of multiracial experiences, including the ways that multiracial youth understand complex concepts such as race, ethnicity, and culture.

This two-part study addresses the gap in literature on intergenerational ethnic-racial socialization processes within interracial families and ethnic cognition among multiracial adolescents. In Study 1, monoracial parents of multiracial children (ages 2-22) completed a survey about ethnic-racial socialization practices, colorblind attitudes, ethnic identity, parent psychological distress, and child psychosocial functioning, and demographic characteristics. Parental ethnic racial socialization beliefs and practices were related to ethnic identity, colorblind attitudes, and parents' received socialization. In Study 2, multiracial 7th through 12th grade students completed a survey about their perceptions of parental ethnic-racial socialization, ethnic identity, psychosocial functioning, and demographic characteristics. In addition, multiracial adolescents participated in a semi-structured interview to assess Ethnic Perspective Taking Abilities (EPTA; Quintana, 1994). Results support the use of the EPTA model with multiracial youth to assess their understandings of race, ethnicity, and inter-group relations.


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