Interracial Families and the Racial Identification of Mixed-Race Children: Evidence from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2009-11-27 03:00Z by Steven

Interracial Families and the Racial Identification of Mixed-Race Children: Evidence from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study

Social Forces
Volume 84, Number 2 (December 2005)
pages 1131-1157
DOI: 10.1353/sof.2006.0007

David L. Brunsma, Professor of Sociology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

In this article, a nationally-representative sample of kindergarten-aged children is used from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study to explore the structure of parental racial designation of mixed-race children. The variation in these parental designations of a variety of mixed-race children is described. Parental racial designations in the three most common majority-minority interracial couplings – White/Hispanic, Black/White and Asian/White – are predicted using multinomial logistic regression models. The results may indicate a movement by the parents of these multiracial children away from minority status through racial labeling and towards “multiracial” and “White” – movements that are predicated upon gender, class and context. Critical discussions of the implications of these results as well as directions for future research are offered.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Multiraciality Reigns Supreme? Mixed-Race Japanese Americans and the Cherry Blossom Queen Pagent

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2009-11-27 02:44Z by Steven

Multiraciality Reigns Supreme? Mixed-Race Japanese Americans and the Cherry Blossom Queen Pagent

Amerasia Journal
Volume 23, No. 1
pp. 113-128

Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, Lecturer in Sociology
National University of Ireland, Maynooth

The notes of the koto echo through the hall and I am mesmerized by the vision on stage.  Beautiful Japanese women dressed in kimono who seem to glide across the stage as if it were ice, their arms outstretched as if to begin a hug so that their ornate sleeves flap slightly in the breeze.  But then I squint to get a closer look, and I suddenly can hear the synthesized drum beat accompanying the plaintive sounds of the koto and can see that not all of the faces look completely Japanese.

Since 1968, a northern California pageant has chosen a queen to reign over the Cherry Blossom Festival held each April in San Francisco’s Japantown.  The queen has come to symbolize northern California’s Japanese American community in many ways.  However, in the past five years half of the candidates, and two of the queens, have not been racially 100 percent Japanese.  The increased participation of mixed-race Japanese Americans has an effect on both the mixed-race and the mono-racial participants in the Queen Pagent as well as the community at large.  This article examines how mixed-race Japanese American women define themselves in what has traditionally been a monoracial setting.  In the context of the pageant, what does it mean to be Japanese American?  How is that defined and how is that definition changing due to the increased participation of mixe-race Japanese Americans?…

Read the entire article here.

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The Alchemy of Mixed Race – Review Essay

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, United Kingdom on 2009-11-27 01:59Z by Steven

The Alchemy of Mixed Race – Review Essay

The Global Review of Ethnopolitics
Vol. 2, no. 3-4
March/June 2003
pages 100-106

Ayo Mansaray
University of Middlesex, UK

Raiding the Gene Pool: The Social Construction of Mixed Race
Jill Olumide
Pluto Press, 2001
pp. 224 (including: foreword, notes, bibliography, index, appendix)

Rethinking “Mixed Race”
Parker & Song (eds)
Pluto Press, 2001
pp. 208 (including: foreword, notes, bibliography, index, appendix)

We are, in Britain, witnessing high levels of co-habitation, marriages and romantic liaisons between different ethnic and racial groups (Alibhai-Brown 2001: 78).  According to the latest census statistics for England and Wales, 660,000 people described themselves as being of mixed ethnicity. The largest mixed group is white and black Caribbean – 237,000, of whom 137,000 (57.5%) are aged 15 and under (ONS 2003).  Extrapolating from this data, the number of Britons involved in mixed raced situations is much greater than this number, and growing. The mixed race/ethnicity population is now the third largest minority in the UK, 14.6% of the total ethnic minority population, second to the Indian and Pakistani communities and larger than the Caribbean and African populations (ONS 2003).  Findings from the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities indicate that just over half of Caribbean men had white partners, and a third of Caribbean women had white partners. 39% of Caribbean children have one white parent, mostly a black father and a white mother (Modood, Berthoud et al. 1997: 30f.).  The statistics point to a significant phenomenon, which has gone unrecognised…

Read the entire review here.

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50 Experiences of Racially Mixed People

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations on 2009-11-27 01:44Z by Steven

50 Experiences of Racially Mixed People

Racial Experiences Questionnaire

Maria P. P. Root

The 50 questions or comments and experiences evolved from a questionnaire I developed for a study on biracial siblings I conducted from 1996 to 1997. These questions and comments provide an introduction to the way in which race consciousness is brought up directly, sideways, and from all sides for people of mixed heritage. These comments and questions, though not an exhaustive list, provide a window into how this country internalizes assumption about race, belonging, and identity. They socialize the mixed race person to understand as well as question race American style. It is a monoracial system; one race per person. Not everyone experiences these questions or comments the similarly. One person might enjoy being asked, “What are you?” whereas their sibling might dread and resent the question. This list provides a launching point for sharing, discussing, laughing, debriefing, and educating….

Read the entire paper here.


‘Toubab La!’ Literary Representations of Mixed-Race Characters in the African Diaspora

Posted in Africa, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, Identity Development/Psychology, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United Kingdom, United States on 2009-11-27 00:35Z by Steven

‘Toubab La!’ Literary Representations of Mixed-Race Characters in the African Diaspora

Cambridge Scholars Publishing
July 2007
453 pages
ISBN13: 9781847182319
ISBN: 1-84718-231-3

Ginette Curry, Professor of English
Florida International University

The book is an examination of mixed-race characters from writers in the United States, The French and British Caribbean islands (Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia and Jamaica), Europe (France and England) and Africa (Burkina Faso, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal). The objective of this study is to capture a realistic view of the literature of the African diaspora as it pertains to biracial and multiracial people. For example, the expression “Toubab La!” as used in the title, is from the Wolof ethnic group in Senegal, West Africa. It means “This is a white person” or “This is a black person who looks or acts white.” It is used as a metaphor to illustrate multiethnic people’s plight in many areas of the African diaspora and how it has evolved. The analysis addresses the different ways multiracial characters look at the world and how the world looks at them. These characters experience historical, economic, sociological and emotional realities in various environments from either white or black people. Their lineage as both white and black determines a new self, making them constantly search for their identity. Each section of the manuscript provides an in-depth analysis of specific authors’ novels that is a window into their true experiences.

The first section is a study of mixed race characters in three acclaimed contemporary novels from the United States. James McBride’s The Color of Water (1996), Danzy Senna’s Caucasia (1998) and Rebecca Walker’s Black White and Jewish (2001) reveal the conflicting dynamics of being biracial in today’s American society. The second section is an examination of mixed-race characters in the following French Caribbean novels: Mayotte Capécia’s I Am a Martinican Woman (1948), Michèle Lacrosil’s Cajou (1961) and Ravines du Devant-Jour (1993) by Raphaël Confiant. Section three is about their literary representations in Derek Walcott’s What the Twilight Says (1970), Another Life (1973), Dream on Monkey Mountain (1967) and Michelle Cliff’s Abeng (1995) from the British Caribbean islands. Section four is an in-depth analysis of their plight in novels written by contemporary mulatto writers from Europe such as Marie N’Diaye’s Among Family (1997), Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (2000) and Bernardine Evaristo’s Lara (1997). Finally, the last section of the book is a study of novels from West African and South African writers. The analysis of Monique Ilboudo’s Le Mal de Peau (2001), Bessie Head’s A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings (1990) and Abdoulaye Sadji’s Nini, Mulâtresse du Sénégal (1947) concludes this literary journey that takes the readers through several continents at different points in time.

Overall, this comprehensive study of mixed-race characters in the literature of the African diaspora reveals not only the old but also the new ways they decline, contest and refuse racial clichés. Likewise, the book unveils how these characters resist, create, reappropriate and revise fixed forms of identity in the African diaspora of the 20th and 21st century. Most importantly, it is also an examination of how the authors themselves deal with the complex reality of a multiracial identity.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
    • Chapter 4: Mayotte Capécia’s I am a Martinican Woman (1948): “My father is Black, My Mother is Brown, and I, Am I White?” (Martinican Riddle)
    • Chapter 5: Michèle Lacrosil’s Cajou (1961): The Anti-Narcissus
    • Chapter 6: Raphaël Confiant’s Ravines du Devant-Jour (1993): Ethnostereotypes in Martinique
    • Chapter 7: The Racial Paradox of Derek Walcott in What the Twilight Says (1970), Derek Walcott: Another life (1973) and Dream on Monkey Mountain (1967)
    • Chapter 8: Michelle Cliff’s Abeng (1995): A Near-White Jamaican Woman’s Quest for Identity
    • Chapter 9: Marie N’Diaye’s Among Family (1997): A Desperate Search for Caucasian Identity
    • Chapter 10: Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (2000): The Concept of Englishness in the 21st Century
    • Chapter 11: Bernardine Evaristo’s Lara (1997): Transculturality in England: Oyinbo, Whitey, Morena, Nig Nog, Nigra!
    • Chapter 12: Monique Ilboudo’s Le Mal de peau (2001): Colonization and Forced Hybridity
    • Chapter 13: Bessie Head’s A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings (1990): White-on-Black and Black-on-Black Racial Oppression in Southern Africa
    • Chapter 14: Abdoulaye Sadji’s Nini, Mulâtresse du Sénégal (1947): “Toubab La!”
  • Conclusion
  • Works Cited
  • Primary Sources
  • Critical Sources
  • Index

Read a preview  here.

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The Blurring of the Lines: Children and Bans on Interrracial Unions and Same-Sex Marriages

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2009-11-25 18:56Z by Steven

The Blurring of the Lines: Children and Bans on Interrracial Unions and Same-Sex Marriages

Fordham Law Review
May 2008
Volume 76, Number 6
pages 2733-2770

Carlos A. Ball, Professor of Law and Judge Frederick Lacey Scholar
Rutgers University School of Law, Newark

When Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter drove from their hometown of Central Point, Virginia, to Washington, D.C., on June 2, 1958, in order to get married, Mildred was several months pregnant Later that year—a few weeks before the couple pled guilty to having violated Virginia’s antimiscegenation law—Mildred gave birth to a baby girl. Richard and Mildred had two more children, a son born in 1959 and a second daughter born a year after that.

The legal commentary on Loving v. Virginia usually does not discuss the fact that the couple had children. In some ways, this is not surprising given that their status as parents was not directly relevant to either their violation of the Virginia statute, or to their subsequent constitutional challenge to that law. Concerns about the creation of interracial children, however, were one of the primary reasons why antimiscegenation laws were first enacted in colonial America and why they were later adopted and retained by many states. It is not possible, in other words, to understand fully the historical roots and purposes of antimiscegenation laws without an assessment of the role that concerns related to interracial children played in their enactment and enforcement.

The offspring of interracial unions were threatening to whites primarily because they blurred the lines between what many of them understood to be a naturally superior white race and a naturally inferior black race. As long as there was a clear distinction between the two racial categories—in other words, as long as the two categories could be thought to be mutually exclusive—then the hierarchical racial regimes represented first by slavery, and later by legal segregation, could be more effectively defended. The existence of interracial children destabilized and threatened the understanding of racial groups as essentialized categories that existed prior to, and independent of, human norms and understandings. To put it differently, interracial children showed that racial categories, seemingly distinct and immutable, were instead highly malleable. Therefore, from a white supremacy perspective, it was important to try to deter the creation of interracial children as much as possible, and the ban on interracial marriage was a crucial means to attaining that goal.

Although it is possible to disagree on how much progress we have made as a society in de-essentializing race, it is (or it should be) clear that an essentialized and static understanding of race is both descriptively and normatively inconsistent with the multicultural American society in which we live. In fact, it would seem that we have made more progress in deessentializing race than we have in de-essentializing sex/gender. One of the best examples of this difference in progress is that while we no longer, as a legal matter, think of the intersection of race and marriage in essentialized ways, legal arguments against same-sex marriage are still very much grounded in an essentialized (and binary) understanding of sex/gender.

The conservative critique of same-sex marriage is premised on the idea that men and women are different in essential and complementary ways and that these differences justify the denial of marriage to same-sex couples.  One of the most important of these differences relate to the raising of children. The reasoning—which is found in the arguments of conservative commentators, in the briefs of states defending same-sex marriage bans, and in some of the judicial opinions upholding those bans—is that there is something unique to women as mothers and something (separately) unique to men as fathers that makes different-sex couples able to parent in certain valuable ways that same-sex couples cannot.

These arguments continue to resonate legally and politically because our laws and culture continue to think about sex/gender in essentialized and binary ways. In fact, one of the reasons why same-sex marriage is so threatening to so many is that the raising of children by same-sex couples blurs the boundaries of seemingly preexisting and static sex/gender categories in the same way that the progeny of interracial unions blur seemingly preexisting and static racial categories…

Read the entire article here.

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Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2009-11-25 02:04Z by Steven

Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference

Berg Publishers
September 2007
224 pages, bibliog., index
Paperback ISBN: 9781845202439
Hardback ISBN: 9781845202422
Ebook ISBN: 9781847883438

Mica Nava, Professor of Cultural Studies
University of East London

Cultural theorist Mica Nava makes an original and significant contribution to the study of cosmopolitanism by exploring everyday English urban cosmopolitanism and foregrounding the gendered, imaginative and empathetic aspects of positive engagement with cultural and racial difference.

By looking at a wide range of texts, events and biographical narratives, she traces cosmopolitanism from its marginal status at the beginning of the twentieth century to its relative normalisation today. Case studies include the promotion of cosmopolitanism by Selfridges before the first world war; relationships between white English women and ‘other’ men—Jews and black GIs—during the 1930s and 1940s; literary, cinematic and social science representations of migrants in postcolonial Britain; and Diana and Dodi’s interracial romance in the 1990s. In the final chapter, the author draws on her own complex family history to illustrate the contemporary cosmopolitan London experience.

Scholars have tended to ignore the oppositional cultures of antiracism and social inclusivity. This groundbreaking study redresses this imbalance and offers a sophisticated account of the uneven history of vernacular cosmopolitanism.

Table of Contents

List of figures

Chapter 1 – Cosmopolitanism, Everyday Culture and Structures of Feeling: The Intellectual Framework of the Book

Chapter 2 – The Allure of Difference: Selfridges, the Russian Ballet and the Tango
Chapter 3 – ‘The Big Shop Controversy’: Ideological Communities and the Chesterton-Selfridge Dispute

Chapter 4 – The Unconscious and Others: Inclusivity, Jews and the Eroticisation of Difference
Chapter 5 – White Women and Black Men: The Negro as Signifier of Modernity in Wartime Britain

Chapter 6 – Thinking Internationally, Thinking Sexually: Race in Postwar Fiction, Film and Social Science
Chapter 7 – Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed: Romance, Race and the Reconfiguration of the Nation

Chapter 8 – A Love Song to our Mongrel Selves: Cosmopolitan Habitus and the Ordinariness of Difference


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Biracial and Multiracial Students: New Directions for Student Services, Number 123

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Campus Life, Canada, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Teaching Resources, United States on 2009-11-24 21:10Z by Steven

Biracial and Multiracial Students: New Directions for Student Services, Number 123

Jossey-Bass an imprint of John Wiley & Sons
October 2008
88 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-470-42219-9

Edited by

Kristen A. Renn, Associate Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education
Michigan State University

Paul Shang, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students
University of Oregon

Editors and contributors of this important work have designed it to meet the needs of student affairs professionals who have previously had few resources on which to draw in understanding the experiences and identities of mixed race students.

Within a multiracial framework, the authors address the contemporary context for understanding racial issues on campus; several approaches to identity developments; experiences of students and faculty; and student services, programs, and policy, including a Canadian perspective.

A substantial amount of literature addresses developmental and service needs of monoracial students of color (Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, Latino, Native American), Student affairs educators have observed an increase in the number of biracial and multiracial college students: students who have parents from more than one federally defined racial or ethnic background such as Asian-White, Latino-Black, or Native-White-Latino. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, this population is only going to increase. This volume is sure to become an indispensable resource for student affairs professionals serving the needs of this increasing student population.

This is the 123nd volume of the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series New Directions for Student Services, an indispensable resource for vice presidents of student affairs, deans of students, student counselors, and other student services professionals.

Each issue of New Directions for Student Services offers guidelines and programs for aiding students in their total development: emotional, social, physical, and intellectual.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Notes

  1. An Introduction to Social and Historical Factors Affecting Multiracial College Students (Paul Shang)
    This chapter introduces the volume by describing social and higher education challenges that impact the identities and experiences of traditional age biracial and multiracial college students.
  2. Research on Biracial and Multiracial Identity Development: Overview and Synthesis (Kristen A. Renn)
    This chapter presents three main bodies of research on identity development of biracial and multiracial college students: foundational theories, ecological models, and psychological studies of the impact of multiracial identity.
  3. Exploring the Experiences and Self-Labeling of Mixed-Race Individuals with Two Minority Parents (Donna M. Talbot)
    A student development researcher describes a qualitative study of ten mixed-race young adults whose parents are from different minority monoracial groups (Black, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, or Native American).
  4. Student Perspectives on Multiracial Identity (Alissa R. King)
    In the context of research on multiracial student experiences, this chapter provides personal reflections of a multiracial individual on campus at a time when Who am I? and What are you? questions prevail.
  5. Multiracial Student Services Come of Age: The State of Multiracial Student Services in Higher Education in the United States (Michael Paul A. Wong, Joshua Buckner)
    The authors describe emerging services to serve multiracial students, the service traditions from which these services evolve, how they are staffed, and their relationships with student organizations.
  6. The Space in Between: Issues for Multiracial Student Organizations and Advising (C. Casey Ozaki, Marc Johnston)
    Based on research and experience working with multiracial student organizations and leaders, the authors describe the functions and challenges of these student groups and provide suggestions for student affairs educators who work with them.
  7. Being Multiracial in a Wired Society: Using the Internet to Define Identity and Community on Campus (Heather Shea Gasser)
    This chapter describes established and emerging technologies, including online social networking, blogs, and wikis, that affect how multiracial students form communities and express their identities.
  8. Bicultural Faculty and Their Professional Adaptation (Michael J. Cuyjet)
    An associate professor and graduate school dean describes the ways that minority faculty members, monoracial and biracial, must learn to be bicultural to thrive in the dominant culture of higher education at predominantly White institutions.
  9. Looking North: Exploring Multiracial Experiences in a Canadian Context (Leanne Taylor)
    A Canadian scholar describes a particular context for understanding mixed-race college student experiences outside the United States and raises questions for higher education policy and student services practice.
  10. Student Affairs and Higher Education Policy Issues Related to Multiracial Students (Angela Kellogg, Amanda Suniti Niskodé)
    This chapter describes student affairs policy issues that have particular impact on multiracial students, such as collecting and reporting data on student race/ethnicity, implementing campus programs and services, and enacting affirmative action.


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The Libertine Colony: Creolization in the Early French Caribbean

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery on 2009-11-24 20:37Z by Steven

The Libertine Colony: Creolization in the Early French Caribbean

Duke University Press
May 2005
408 pages
19 b&w photographs
Cloth ISBN: 0-8223-3453-4, ISBN13 978-0-8223-3453-8
Paperback ISBN: 0-8223-3465-8, ISBN13 978-0-8223-3465-1

Doris Garraway, Associate Professor of French
Northwestern University

Presenting incisive original readings of French writing about the Caribbean from the inception of colonization in the 1640s until the onset of the Haitian Revolution in the 1790s, Doris Garraway sheds new light on a significant chapter in French colonial history. At the same time, she makes a pathbreaking contribution to the study of the cultural contact, creolization, and social transformation that resulted in one of the most profitable yet brutal slave societies in history. Garraway’s readings highlight how French colonial writers characterized the Caribbean as a space of spiritual, social, and moral depravity. While tracing this critique in colonial accounts of Island Carib cultures, piracy, spirit beliefs, slavery, miscegenation, and incest, Garraway develops a theory of “the libertine colony.” She argues that desire and sexuality were fundamental to practices of domination, laws of exclusion, and constructions of race in the slave societies of the colonial French Caribbean.

Among the texts Garraway analyzes are missionary histories by Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre, Raymond Breton, and Jean-Baptiste Labat; narratives of adventure and transgression written by pirates and others outside the official civil and religious power structures; travel accounts; treatises on slavery and colonial administration in Saint-Domingue; the first colonial novel written in French; and the earliest linguistic description of the native Carib language. Garraway also analyzes legislation—including the Code noir—that codified slavery and other racialized power relations. The Libertine Colony is both a rich cultural history of creolization as revealed in Francophone colonial literature and an important contribution to theoretical arguments about how literary critics and historians should approach colonial discourse and cultural representations of slave societies.

Table of Contents

  • Illustrations
  • Preface
  • Introduction: Creolizaton in the Old Regime Chapter One: Border of Violence, Border fo Desire: The French and the Island Caribs
  • Chapter Two: Domestication and the White Noble Savage
  • Chapter Three: Creolization and the Spirit World: Demons, Violence, and the Body
  • Chapter Four: The Libertine Colony: Desire, Miscegenation, and the Law
  • Chapter Five: Race, Reproduction, and Family Romance in Saint-Domingue
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Works Cited
  • Index
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Implications of Racial Self-Identification, Racial Ancestry, and Racial Context for Depressive Symptoms, Achievement, and Self-Esteem Among Multiracial Adolescents

Posted in Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations on 2009-11-24 20:14Z by Steven

Implications of Racial Self-Identification, Racial Ancestry, and Racial Context for Depressive Symptoms, Achievement, and Self-Esteem Among Multiracial Adolescents

Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
Montreal Convention Center
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
32 pages

Melissa Herman, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Dartmouth University

This paper describes the impact of racial self-identification, racial ancestry, and racial composition of contexts on measures of depressive symptoms, achievement, and self-esteem among 1,417 multiracial youth and 7,310 monoracial youth ages 14-19. Comparisons are made both between multi- and monoracial groups, and within groups of multiracial respondents who self-identify in different single-race categories. Results show that racial ancestry, self-identification, and context are significantly related to these developmental outcomes. For multiracial youth, self-identifying as Black or Hispanic is associated with lower grades while simply having Black ancestry (regardless of self-identification) is not. Net of other factors, neither ancestry nor identification appear to have a significant impact on depressive symptoms among monoracial students but they have a significant impact for multi-racial part-Blacks and part-Hispanics. Racial context showed a significant impact only for neighborhood: the lower percentage of whites in a multiracial youth’s neighborhood, the lower his or her grades.

Read the entire paper here.

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