Parent and child influences on the development of a Black-White biracial identity
Stone, Dana J.
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In this qualitative study, the interactive process of exploring and developing shared, familial meanings about biracial identity development was investigated from the perspectives of both parents and children in Black-White multiracial families. Specifically, this study examined how monoracial parents and their biracial children describe the influence parents have on the biracial childrenâ s identity development process from the biracial individualsâ youth into adulthood. Monoracial parents and their children were also invited to share how they negotiated the uniqueness of a biracial identity in both the parentsâ and the childrenâ s social arenas. Data were obtained through in-person, semi-structured interviews with 10 monoracial mothers and 11 of their adult (ages 18 to 40) biracial children. The data were analyzed using phenomenological methodology. The analysis of participantsâ experiences of biracial identity development revealed four major themes: that family interactions and relationships contribute to the creation of identity for biracial individuals, that mothers intentionally worked to create an open family environment for their biracial children to grow up in, that parents and children affect and are affected by interactions with American culture and society throughout their development, and finally that growing up biracial is a unique experience within each of aforementioned contexts. While there were many shared experiences among the families, each family had its own exceptional story of strength and adjustment to the biracial identity development process. Across cases, the overarching theme was one of togetherness and resiliency for the mothers and their adult children. Data from this study has important implications for research and practice among a number of human service professionals.
- Doctoral Dissertations