Identity of Biracial College Students

Identity of Biracial College Students

San Jose State University
May 1999
77 pages

MyTra Fitzpatrick

A Thesis Presented to The Faculty of the Department of Child Development San Jose State University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts

This thesis examined the identity of biracial college students and the relationship between parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive) and biracial identity development. Biracial subjects were defined as individuals having parents who were from two different ethnic/racial groups. Of the total of 104 subjects, 65 students were classified into one of three mixed-groups categories according to the two ethiucities of their parents: Asian/Euro-American, Asian/Latino, and Latino/Euro-American. Results showed that students identified strongly with one or both ethnicities, and that strong bicultural identity was associated with positive self-esteem. The majority of parents utilized authoritative parenting styles, regardless of their ethnic mix. While authoritative parents were more likely to have offspring who exhibited higher levels of bicultural identity and self-esteem, these results were not statistically significant. These findings are consistent with the parenting styles literature and with studies showing positive identity for biracial students.

Table of Contents

  • List of Tables
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to the Problem
    • Interracial Marriages
    • Definition of Biracial Individuals
    • Statement of the Problem and Purpose of this Study
  • Chapter 2: Review of the Literature
    • Research on Biracial Individuals
    • Identity Development: Definitions and Theories
    • Identity Development of Ethnic Minority Individuals
    • Identity Development of Biracial Individuals
    • Parenting Styles and the Relationship to Biracial Adolescents’ Social and Emotional Development
      • Baumrind’s Four Dimensions of Parental Behavior
      • Baumrind’s Three Parenting Style Typologies
      • Ethnic Differences in Parenting Styles
  • Chapter 3: Methodology
    • Participants
    • Materials
    • Procedure
  • Chapter 4: Results
  • Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusions
  • References
  • Appendix A

List of Tables

  1. Who Students Live With by Ethnicity of Parents
  2. Percent of Students who Identified with Their Mom vs. Their Dad
  3. Identity Strength for Group 1 by Ethnicity of Parents
  4. Identity Strength for Group 2 by Ethnicity of Parents
  5. Bicultural Identity from Low to High by Ethnicity of Parents
  6. Mean Scores for Identity Items by Primary Identity Group
  7. Reasons Student Select for Identifying with Primary Ethnic Identity Group
  8. Mean Score of Self-Esteem by Primary Ethnic Identity
  9. Mean Score of Self-Esteem by Bicultural Identity
  10. Mean Score of Self-Esteem by Ethnicity of Parents
  11. Parenting Styles by Ethnic Mix-Groups of Parents
  12. Percent of Parents Using Each Parenting Styles by Bicultural Identity of Child.
  13. Mean Self-Esteem Scores by Parenting Styles

Read the entire thesis here.

Tags: ,