Initially upon reading this article I thought, “This is great! Mixed kids today are fairing better.” By the third time I read it though, I found it laughable. As if it’s some great revelation that for these individuals to actually embrace who they quite literally are will yield positive results. Not just for them, but maybe for everyone! Woweee!! Sounds like common sense to me. Common enough that I came to that conclusion without doing any studies at all. Well, I guess in all fairness I studied myself. Anyway, though I realize that because we have historically not been encouraged to do all of this embracing the notion may be considered “progressive,” I suppose it’s the assertion that this is merely ‘preliminary evidence’ that’s rubbing me the wrong way. As if the jury’s still out and maybe we’re better off with the twisted way we’ve been approaching this subject for centuries. On the other hand, maybe I should just be glad that the studies are being conducted at all. After all, I still come up against vehement opposition to my choice to identify as biracial daily. On youtube of course. Which doesn’t have much affect on me personally, but just goes to show that there’s more embracing to be done and that we’re definitely living in a society that needs some positive results as far as shifting the racial paradigm goes.
Multiracial identity associated with better social and personal well-being
Many people assume that individuals who identify with one race should be better off than multiracial individuals who identify with a mixed race heritage. However, a new study in the Journal of Social Issues found that students who reported they were from multiple ethnic/racial groups were more engaged at school and felt better in general than those who reported they were from a single group. Kevin Binning, Ph.D., Miguel Unzueta, Ph.D., Yuen Huo, Ph.D., and Ludwin Molina, Ph.D., surveyed roughly 180 high school students to see how they were doing in school and how they felt in general: were they experiencing stress, isolation, etc.? The study compared multiracial students who reported being from a single racial or ethnic group (i.e. Black, Mexican, White) with multiracial students who reported they were from various racial and ethnic groups (i.e. multiracial, Black and White, etc.).
On several indicators (i.e. happiness, stress, citizenship behavior, and school alienation), students who reported they were from multiple groups were more engaged in school and felt better than those who reported they were from a single group.
Results suggest there may be a positive link between the tendency to embrace a multiracial identity and social and personal well-being.
“The population of multiracial individuals is currently large and is likely to grow over time,” the authors note. “Our study provides preliminary evidence that encouraging such individuals to embrace their multiracial identity may yield positive results not only for them, but possibly for society more generally.”