Title page for ETD etd-11162009-035955


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Stone, Dana J.
URN etd-11162009-035955
Title Parent and child influences on the development of a Black-White biracial identity
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dolbin-MacNab, Megan L. Committee Chair
Allen, Katherine R. Committee Member
Few-Demo, April L. Committee Member
Keeling, Margaret L. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Biracial
  • Black-White
  • Identity Development
  • Interracial Families
Date of Defense 2009-10-07
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
In this qualitative study, the interactive process of exploring and developing shared, familial meanings about biracial identity development was investigated from the perspectives of both parents and children in Black-White multiracial families. Specifically, this study examined how monoracial parents and their biracial children describe the influence parents have on the biracial children’s identity development process from the biracial individuals’ youth into adulthood. Monoracial parents and their children were also invited to share how they negotiated the uniqueness of a biracial identity in both the parents’ and the children’s social arenas. Data were obtained through in-person, semi-structured interviews with 10 monoracial mothers and 11 of their adult (ages 18 to 40) biracial children. The data were analyzed using phenomenological methodology. The analysis of participants’ experiences of biracial identity development revealed four major themes: that family interactions and relationships contribute to the creation of identity for biracial individuals, that mothers intentionally worked to create an open family environment for their biracial children to grow up in, that parents and children affect and are affected by interactions with American culture and society throughout their development, and finally that growing up biracial is a unique experience within each of aforementioned contexts. While there were many shared experiences among the families, each family had its own exceptional story of strength and adjustment to the biracial identity development process. Across cases, the overarching theme was one of togetherness and resiliency for the mothers and their adult children. Data from this study has important implications for research and practice among a number of human service professionals.
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