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Multiracial Identity in Hawaii: How Social Context Influences Well-Being and Interpersonal Relations

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Item Summary

Title:Multiracial Identity in Hawaii: How Social Context Influences Well-Being and Interpersonal Relations
Authors:Meyers, Chanel
Date Issued:Dec 2015
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2015]
Abstract:As our society’s multiracial population grows researchers seek to understand how multiracial individuals conceptualize their identity and how their conceptualization may differ from that of monoracial individuals. While there are many theories describing racial identity development for those with multiple racial backgrounds, there is inconsistency in the factors associated with a positive identity for these individuals, perhaps due to the fluidity inherent in multiracial identity. Much of the literature on multiracial identity development attempts to fit these individuals into our current models of racial identity, which typically only include monoracial identities as identity possibilities. Reframing identity conceptualization as including a “multiracial” category versus attempting to fit multiracials into multiple racial categories may broaden our understanding of how multiracial individuals develop their identity. Investigating multiracial identity in Hawaii, a location where those who identify with more than one race are in the numerical majority, may provide some insight into potential benefits multiracial individuals garner from an environment where a “multiracial” category is salient. The present studies aim to explore how multiracial individuals in Hawaii conceptualize their identity, how this relates to their psychological well-being, and how making “multiracial” a salient category, through self-identification contexts, impacts well-being and sense of belonging. I found that environment (Hawaii vs. New Jersey) and racial composition played an important role in how multiracials navigated their identity, experienced discrimination, and their well-being. Additionally, I found that being forced to choose a monoracial identity led to greater depressive symptoms for multiracial individuals. Implications for how various contexts influence multiracial identity and their inter/intra-group outcomes will be discussed.
Description:M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - Psychology

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