Measuring Whiteness: A Systematic Review of Instruments and Call to Action

R. C. Schooley, Debbiesiu L. Lee, Lisa B. Spanierman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The psychological study of Whiteness provides one avenue for researchers to help combat racial injustice in the United States. This article is a call to action for counseling psychologists to engage in much needed scholarship and critical examinations of Whiteness. In this systematic review and content analysis, we provide an overview of 18 quantitative measures focusing on various aspects of Whiteness published between 1967 and 2017. We summarize the constructs and psychometric properties of these measures. Our content analysis indicated that constructs assessed by Whiteness measures have shifted in focus over time across four themes: (a) Attitudes Toward Black People/Integration, (b) Modern Racism, (c) White Racial Identity, and (d) White Privilege and Antiracism. We conclude with suggestions on how advancement, development, and use of Whiteness measures could further our knowledge through research examining present-day racial justice issues. The issues highlighted include police brutality, xenophobia, immigration, White supremacy, activism, and training in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-565
Number of pages36
JournalCounseling Psychologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • instruments
  • measures
  • White identity
  • White racial attitudes
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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