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Efforts to understand the development of Multiracial identity have gained traction in recent years, with studies focusing on different socialization factors to explain the common struggles that Multiracial individuals face. This online cross-sectional study sought to understand the association between microaggression experiences and Multiracial identity. I recruited 140 adults who were proficient in English and identified with two or more races to explore the relationship between racial microaggressions, challenges in Multiracial identity, and how they are racialized by others—street race. Microaggressions are subtle, ambiguous, or unintentional slights that can cause stress in marginalized individuals. For this study, Multiracial identity turbulence (MIT) is when individuals with two or more races feel indifferent, uncertain, or insecure about their racial identity. I hypothesized that MIT would positively correlate with microaggression experiences (H1) and also with observed microaggressions happening to family members (H2). It was expected that participants who indicated their street race as “White” would report less microaggressions than others (H3). Lastly, I expected that individuals who responded differently to the self-perceived race and street race measures would have higher levels of MIT (H4). Although H1 and H2 were not supported through correlational analyses, creating categorical groupings revealed a two-way interaction between identity types and street race on microaggression experiences. H3 had no significant support, but presented some interesting outcomes that deserve further exploration. These findings may promote a holistic understanding of the diverse and nuanced experiences of Multiracial individuals for families, researchers, and mental health practitioners working with this population.

Publication Date

Spring 4-29-2021




Multiracial; Microaggressions; Street race; Identity development


Public Health

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Faculty Mentor: Gloria Wong-Padoongpatt, Ph.D.

The Relationship Between Racial Microaggressions and Multiracial Identity Turbulence

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