Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Racially mixed children-Psychology, Racially mixed children-Socialization, Parents of racially mixed children, Parenting, Racial socialization, Multiracial, Mixed, Monoracism


The growing numbers and visibility of multiracial individuals in the United States necessitate that social workers, parents, and researchers understand the unique strengths and stressors multiracial individuals face. This study qualitative study explored the ways in which parents racially socialized their multiracial children. Fifty-three multiracial adults completed online surveys about their childhood experiences with racism, monoracism and racial socialization. Participants wrote about how their parents handled racial socialization (or how they did not) in a variety of ways: by embracing racial stereotypes, denying the existence of race and racism, giving general pride but no discussion of race, teaching about racism, promoting racial pride, modeling racial diversity, and proactive support. Participants wrote that their own experiences with racism reflected back to their parents and their parents' own experiences with race and racism. Participants also expressed having unique knowledge and strength as a result of having multiracial heritage. Study results indicate that multiracial individuals share similarities with both the monoracial minority and transracial adoptees in terms of parental racial socialization. This study adds new knowledge to our understanding of multiracial experiences and raises questions about the intergenerational transmission of race related trauma and coping strategies. This study also adds new information about how multiracial individuals find strength in their marginalized identities.




iii, 83 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 69-75)