Relationships among racial identity integration, cognitive processes, and attitudes towards racial issues and diversity among multiracial individuals
Moniz, Jennifer Norie
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Multiracial individuals are often perceived to hold a unique perspective of the world because they have to manage multiple racial identities. The purpose of this study is to further examine how multiracial individuals manage their multiple racial identities and to explore the unique perspective they have on societal issues. In particular, this study explored the relationships of racial self-categorization, racial identity integration, cognitive processes, and attitudes towards racial issues and diversity amongst part-White multiracial individuals. Additionally, the study explored how multiracial individuals’ socioeconomic status relates to these cognitive mechanisms and diversity attitudes. Through online advertisements and personal connections, a large sample (N = 809) of part-White multiracial adults was recruited throughout the United States. Several statistical analyses were used to test the hypotheses: MANOVA/ANOVA, multiple regression, correlational analysis, and structural equation modeling. The results indicated that among part-White individuals, (a) self-categorization predicted racial identity integration, cognitive processes, and attitudes toward racial issues and diversity (Hypothesis 1); (b) racial identity integration and cognitive processes had an effect on attitudes toward racial and diversity issues (Hypothesis 2); (c) cognitive processes mediated the relationships between racial identity integration and attitudes toward racial and diversity issues (Hypothesis 3); and (d) cognitive flexibility, dialectical self-views, and racial identity integration were intercorrelated (Hypothesis 4). Lastly, multiracial individuals’ education attainment and family’s SES during upbringing had varying effects on their perception of racial and diversity-related issues. Overall, this study provides a comprehensive framework to describe the lived experiences of multiracial individuals living in the United States. Implications for clinical practice and future multiracial research are discussed.