Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Glenda Dewberry-Rooney, Ph. D

Second Advisor

Michael Schock, Ph. D.

Third Advisor

Gay Hallberg, Ph. D.


This study explored biracial identity development and the key factors that influence the racial identity development of biracial young adults. In this study biracial is defined as having parents who are African-American and Euro-American. The study participants were fourteen biracial college students between the age of 18 and 26. Data for the study was collected using indepth individual interviews. Participants' perceptions of when their racial identity emerged and their current attitudes about being biracial in todays society was also examined. The majority of participants reported that the right and opportunity of racial choice was a predominate issue that contributed to their racial identity development. Furthermore, the majority of respondents indicated that family, peers, and access to diverse communities were key elements that contributed to their racial identity development. The results of this study provide insight into the developmental stages of these participants' racial identity formation. Results of this study will provide social workers with an understanding of and insight into the main factors which influence the racial identity development process of bi or multiracial children.


SC 11.MSW.1998.Dieffen.JS

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