Perceived monoracism and psychological adjustment of multiracial adults: The roles of racially diverse contexts and creating third space

Abigail K. Gabriel, Hyung Chol Yoo, Kelly Jackson, Rudy P. Guevarra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Across two studies, we examined whether racially diverse contexts in combination with creating a third (multiracial) space played a protective role in the association between perceived monoracism and psychological adjustment for multiracial adults. Study 1 participants (N = 263; 77.8% female, Mage = 32.16 years) were recruited from national multiracial organizations and completed an online cross-sectional survey in 2009. Study 2 participants (N = 1478; 56.2% female, Mage = 48.89 years) were recruited by the Pew Research Center and completed a nationally representative survey in 2015. Results indicated significant three-way interaction effects on psychological adjustment, with differential effects depending on the types of perceived monoracism. Specifically, when subjective racial diversity was high, creating a third space buffered against the deleterious effects of multiracial discrimination on distress, negative affect, and life satisfaction; while it exacerbated the link between perceived racial ambiguity and negative affect. This study provides empirical evidence for the importance of using an ecological framework when examining multiracial identity and experiences. Results also highlight the need to move beyond conceptualizing and measuring multiracial experiences as dichotomous risks or resiliencies. Rather, we should aim to understand multiracial experiences as either promoting or inhibiting across contexts, time, and individual characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • monoracism
  • multiracial adults
  • racial discrimination
  • racial diversity
  • racial identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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