Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Counseling Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 80 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Alex L. Pieterse

Committee Members

Kimberly F. Colvin, Diana T. Sanchez


identity choice, mental health, multiracial, racial conflict, racial discrimination, Racially mixed people, Discrimination

Subject Categories



Objective: This study examined the moderating role of racial conflict among the relation between experiences of racial discrimination and mental health (psychological distress and psychological well-being) for the multiracial sub-group. Furthermore, this study was among the first to also explore how multifaceted identity choice/racial self-identification was associated with racism, racial tension, and mental health. Methods: Two hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted to assess the potential moderation effect of racial conflict on the relationships between racism and mental health for 242 multiracial adults using survey design and recruitment methods through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and social media. Results: As predicted, experiences of racial discrimination were negatively associated with psychological well-being and positively associated with psychological distress. Contrary to hypothesis, racial conflict did not serve as a protective factor but amplified the negative relationship between perceived racial discrimination and psychological well-being. Additionally, there was an absence of moderation between experiences of racism and psychological distress. Lastly, as was hypothesized, participants’ multifaceted identity choice varied and there were significant within-group differences between identity choice and racial conflict. Conclusions: There is increasing versatility in the racial self-identification of multiracial people and its subsequent impact this may have on racial conflict and mental health. Improving a better understanding of the experiences of racial discrimination, identity development and overall effect on mental health for the multiracial population is necessary. Future scholarly and clinical implications based on prior and current theory are addressed.

Included in

Psychology Commons