“Mixed” Results: Multiracial Research and Identity Explorations

“Mixed” Results: Multiracial Research and Identity Explorations

Current Directions in Psychological Science
Volume 24, Number 2 (April 2015)
pages 114-119
DOI: 10.1177/0963721414558115

Sarah E. Gaither
Department of Psychology and Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Multiracial individuals report that the social pressure of having to “choose” one of their racial groups is a primary source of psychological conflict. Yet because of their ability to maneuver among their multiple identities, multiracials also adopt flexible cognitive strategies in dealing with their social environments—demonstrating a benefit to having multiple racial identities. The current article reviews recent research involving multiracial participants to examine the behavioral and cognitive outcomes linked to being multiracial and pinpoints possible moderators that may affect these outcomes. Limitations in applying monoracial identity frameworks to multiracial populations are also discussed.

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