Salience of Ethnic Minority Grandparents in the Ethnic-Racial Socialization and Identity Development of Multiracial Grandchildren

Kelly F. Jackson, Felicia M. Mitchell, Cyndy R. Snyder, Gina E.Miranda Samuels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Ethnic minority grandparents play a critical role in the lives of their grandchildren. A less examined yet assumed important role of ethnic minority grandparents is their function in the ethnic-racial socialization and identity development of their grandchildren. This exploratory study represents one of the only empirical investigations into the role of grandparents in the ethnic-racial socialization and ethnic identity development of the growing population of multiracial persons. Utilizing narrative methodology and the constant comparative method of analysis, we examined the subjective meaning of the role of ethnic minority grandparents across influential identity experiences of multiracial adults of Mexican heritage. Results confirm that beginning at an early age and continuing throughout multiracial participant lifetimes, ethnic minority grandparents engaged two focal processes in their grandchildren’s ethnic-racial socialization: as beacons of cultural socialization and monocentric gatekeepers. The influence of these contradictory processes on multiracial identity development is explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • Ethnic identity development
  • ethnic minority grandparents
  • ethnic-racial socialization
  • multiracial
  • qualitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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