Mixed race, mixed emotions

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Family/Parenting, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2011-01-09 12:00Z by Steven

Mixed race, mixed emotions

The Arizona Republic

Janie Magruder

Multiracial children face challenges of identity, community

Aaron Foster was 3 years old the first time the question came.

“What are you?” asked the barber, out of earshot of his mother.

“I’m a boy,” Aaron replied, bewildered.

“No, what are you? Black? Chinese?”

“I do gymnastics.”

That exchange, in 1997, made Christina Cooper-Foster, the preschooler’s Taiwanian-born mom, realize that issues of race haven’t changed much. Cooper-Foster was raised by White adoptive parents in rural Florida in the 1970s, and the same hurtful queries and curious stares she got were now plaguing her son, who is mixed race…

…They also are more likely to suffer from depression, substance abuse, sleep problems and various illnesses, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Their 2003 study of 90,000 U.S. adolescents found students who called themselves biracial were more likely to have sex at younger ages, access to guns and poorer experiences at school.

“It did not matter what races the students identified with,” said J. Richard Udry, a professor of maternal and child health and lead researcher. “The risks were higher for all of them if they did not identify with a single race.”

Udry concluded that multiracial children live with stress that their single-race peers do not…

…Who are they?

They’re people like Nathalie Conte, a past president of SIMBA—Students Identifying Multiracial and Biracial at Arizona State University—who helped host a mixed-race event last month on campus. Tempe was among 15 cities on the Generation MIX tour, aimed at focusing attention on the challenges of multiracial people. It ended Tuesday in Seattle.

Conte, a 22-year-old ASU senior, has a Black mother and a Caucasian father.

“The biggest issue is we have to choose our race on application forms, and it’s kind of frustrating when you have to pick ‘other,’ because you don’t think of yourself as ‘other,’ ” she said…

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Health and Behavior Risks of Adolescents with Mixed-Race Identity

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2010-01-09 19:02Z by Steven

Health and Behavior Risks of Adolescents with Mixed-Race Identity

American Journal of Public Health
Volume 93, Number 11 (November 2003)
Pages 1865-1870

J. Richard Udry, PhD, Kenan Professor of Maternal and Child Health and Sociology
Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Rose Maria Li, PhD
Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Janet Hendrickson-Smith, MA
Analytical Sciences, Inc.

Objectives. This study compared the health and risk status of adolescents who identify with 1 race with those identifying with more than 1 race.

Methods. Data are derived from self-reports of race, using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which provides a large representative national sample of adolescents in grades 7 through 12. Respondents could report more than 1 race.

Results. Mixed-race adolescents showed higher risk when compared with single-race adolescents on general health questions, school experience, smoking and drinking, and other risk variables.

Conclusions. Adolescents who self-identify as more than 1 race are at higher health and behavior risks. The findings are compatible with interpreting the elevated risk of mixed race as associated with stress.

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