Familial racial-ethnic socialization of Multiracial American Youth: A systematic review of the literature with MultiCrit

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, Social Work, United States on 2019-07-21 17:42Z by Steven

Familial racial-ethnic socialization of Multiracial American Youth: A systematic review of the literature with MultiCrit

Developmental Review
Volume 53, September 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.dr.2019.100869

Annabelle L. Atkin, Graduate Teaching Assistant
T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics
Arizona State University

Hyung Chol Yoo, Associate Professor of Asian Pacific American Studies
Arizona State University



  • Seven types of racial-ethnic socialization messages were identified.
  • Most parents do not discuss Multiracial identity with their children.
  • The qualitative studies reviewed mostly focused on Black and White biracial youth.
  • There are no measures of racial-ethnic socialization for Multiracial families.

Multiracial youth are currently the largest demographic group among individuals 18 and under in the United States (Saulny, 2011), and yet there is a dearth of research examining the development of these uniquely racialized individuals. In this article, we systematically review the qualitative and quantitative research available across disciplines regarding how caregivers engage in racial-ethnic socialization with Multiracial American youth to transmit knowledge about race, ethnicity, and culture. We also critique the use of monoracially framed theoretical models for understanding Multiracial experiences and provide directions for future research using a Critical Multiracial Theory, henceforth referred to as MultiCrit, perspective (Harris, 2016). MultiCrit situates the understanding of Multiracial experiences in the context of the racially oppressive structures that affect Multiracial realities. In light of the findings of this review, we suggest that future studies are needed to learn how racial-ethnic socialization processes look in Multiracial families with different racial makeups and diverse family structures while considering the intersectional identities of Multiracial youth and their caregivers. Furthermore, new theoretical frameworks specific to Multiracial families are necessary to move this field forward, and quantitative measures need to be developed based on qualitative studies to capture the nuances of racial-ethnic socialization messages for Multiracial youth. Suggestions for additional factors to consider in the process of racial-ethnic socialization for Multiracial families and implications of this research are provided in the discussion.

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