February 17, 2009

Psychological well-being of multiracial individuals

This study demonstrates that multiracial individuals who identify with the different components of their ancestry have equal or better psychological well-being compared to those who identify with only one of them.

I had predicted as much back in 2003:
The offspring of mixed marriages often adopt two different types of coping strategy to deal with their own 'identity' problem, created both because they're not sure "what" they are, and also because society is not clear "what" they are.

Strategy #1, is to shut off one part of one's ancestry. [...] Strategy #2, is to identify with the common denominator of the two parts. [...] BTW there is of course Strategy #3 (which I think is the psychologically soundest one): to acknowledge one's hybridity rather than trying to pretend that the parts are the same (#2) or by turning a blind eye towards one of them (#1)

Journal of Social Issues
Volume 65 Issue 1, Pages 35 - 49

The Interpretation of Multiracial Status and Its Relation to Social Engagement and Psychological Well-Being doi:

Kevin R. Binning et al.


This research examines how multiracial individuals chose to identify themselves with respect to their racial identity and how this choice relates to their self-reported psychological well-being (e.g., self-esteem, positive affect) and level of social engagement (e.g., citizenship behaviors, group alienation). High school students who belong to multiple racial/ethnic groups (N = 182) were asked to indicate the group with which they primarily identify. Participants were then classified as identifying with a low-status group (i.e., Black or Latino), a high-status group (i.e., Asian or White), or multiple groups (e.g., Black and White, etc.). Results showed that, compared with multiracial individuals who identified primarily with a low- or high-status group, those who identified with multiple groups tended to report either equal or higher psychological well-being and social engagement. Potential explanations and implications for understanding multiracial identity are discussed.


1 comment:

  1. I've only read the abstract, but my first thought is that these are merely co-relational: individuals with psychological well-being are more likely to not subscribe to your Strategies 1 and 2.


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