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How Do Forced-Choice Dilemmas Affect Multiracial People?
The Role of Identity Autonomy and Public Regard in Depressive Symptoms


Diana T. Sanchez, Rutgers University, Department of Psychology, 53 Avenue E, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8040. E-mail:


The present study reports on correlational data gathered from an Internet survey to explore why forced-choice dilemma situations relate to depressive symptoms among multiracial people (N = 317). Specifically, a model was tested that explored the role of identity autonomy (the extent to which multiracial people feel they can racially identify however they desire) and public regard (the extent to which multiracial people think others value their multiracial identity). The results of the model suggest that forced-choice dilemmas predict greater depressive symptoms because forced-choice dilemmas may promote greater beliefs that their multiracial identity is devalued in society and more generally restrict identity autonomy. Implications are discussed in terms of multiracial health and public policies regarding assessments of racial identities.