Thesis

What are you anyway?: how multiracial heritage affects adolescent identity development in middle school

This research explores several different adolescent identity development models and the dilemmas that many multiracial children face. The purpose of this research was to examine the perspectives and experiences of today' s adolescent multiracial students in order to gain a better understanding of how these students negotiate identity development. Further, it was designed to discover how educators could better support the needs of these specific students. The study was conducted with sixth and eighth grade students at a middle school in Southern California. Survey data was collected to measure whether or not multiracial individuals were welcomed into friendships, and accepted socially. How and where students come in contact with multiracial peers was explored. Semistructured interviews were conducted with multiracial students to gain insight into their home, school, and peer experiences. What started out as an inspection into today's multiracial youth turned into a reflection of the researcher's past, one that includes multiracial heritage. (Key Words: adolescent, identity development, multiracial students)

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