“WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?” The Psychological and Social Well-Being of Multiracial Adolescents

Authors


  • Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 2002 meetings of the Midwest Sociological Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the American Sociological Association in Chicago, Illinois.

*Direct all correspondence to Mary E. Campbell, Sociology Department, W140 Seashore Hall, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242; e-mail: mary-e-campbell@uiowa.edu

Abstract

We used the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to examine the social and psychological well-being of multiracial adolescents. Using two different measures of multiracial identity, we investigated the ways in which these adolescents compare to their monoracial counterparts on five outcomes: depression, seriously considering suicide, feeling socially accepted, feeling close to others at school, and participating in extracurricular activities. We found that multiracial adolescents as a group experience some negative outcomes compared to white adolescents, but that this finding is driven by negative outcomes for those with American Indian and white heritage. We found no consistent evidence, however, that multiracial adolescents as a group face more difficulty in adolescence than members of other racial and ethnic minority groups. The results were similar, whether the multiracial population is defined by self-identification or by their parents’ racial identifications.

Ancillary