The Relationship Between Parental Communications About Race and Their Children’s Racial Identity
Briana J Moore
While racial and ethnic identity (REI) has been studied extensively among older children and adults, we know little about its emergence in early childhood. Using measurements developed for this study, we investigate REI among kindergartners as well as its relationship with cross-race inclusion. In addition, we examine the contribution of parental communications (e.g., preparation for bias, ethnic pride, and egalitarianism) toward the development of REI. We determined African-American children’s individual preferences for 6 different leisure activities (e.g., playing a musical instrument, playing a video game, etc.), establishing a rank order for each child. Subsequently, pairs of photographs were presented, each pair depicting two activities. Children were asked to pick the activity that would be “most fun.” While one photo depicted a Black child engaged in one activity, the other depicted a White child engaged in a different activity. Based upon each child’s baseline order of preferences, any unexpected choice was noted as a shift toward the “same-race” or “cross-race” model. A REI score is defined as the number of same-race minus cross-race shifts. REI scores were compared with scores obtained from two other tasks. The “Racial Inclusion Task” requires each child to select 4 children who they would like to invite to their birthday party. One-half of the potential choices are Black, while the remaining half are White. The “Activity Preference Task” requires children to rate how much fun it would be to participate in a variety of activities (e.g., a tug-of-war game). Each activity was depicted by a photograph of Black children or of White children. We predicted that parental communications involving ethnic pride would be related to REI scores, cross-race inclusion, and activities depicted by cross-race models. Implications of our findings for the development of positive racial identities and the encouragement of inclusive attitudes are discussed.
Capstone Project - Undergraduate
Ronald M. Katsuyama
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project
"The Relationship Between Parental Communications About Race and Their Children’s Racial Identity" (2017). Stander Symposium Projects. 1108.