Assessment of childhood racial-ethnic identity

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Clinical Psychology


Department of Psychology


Advisor: Ronald M. Katsuyama


Research shows that there is a lack of documentation and understanding in the area of racial-ethnic identity (REI) development. One of the main concerns is that there is no widely accepted or used measurement for this developing construct in children. The purposes of this study were to examine (1) if the assessment of activity preferences and racial model influence can represent REI in elementary and middle school children; (2) if participation in cultural programming (CP) is associated with children's REI and their feelings toward member of their racial-ethnic group; and (3) if REI scores relate to cross-racial acceptance. To accomplish this, three measures (the Activity Preference, Racial Model Influence, and Cross-Racial Acceptance Tasks) were developed and presented, via PowerPoint presentation, to two treatment and four comparison groups comprised of 144 Black second-, third-, sixth-, and seventh-grade students who attended two neighboring predominately Black Dayton public elementary schools. The treatment groups participated in African dance and drumming workshops. Pre- and post-test data were obtained and comparisons between participating and non-participating students were made. Results support the notions that (1) REI in younger children may be absent or in an early developmental stage; and (2) overall, there is no relationship between REI scores and cross-race inclusion. Limitations of the study are discussed and future directions suggest that future studies include more sensitive measures and a stronger CP variable. Further, If REI develops in children, then the present approach to measuring REI could be useful in exploring an important component of children's social and emotional development.


Children, Black Race identity Case studies, African American children Race identity Case studies, Ethnicity in children Case studies, Student activities Case studies, Dayton (Ohio) Ethnic relations Case studies

Rights Statement

Copyright 2012, author