Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Mary Z. Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. James Croteau

Third Advisor

Dr. Donna Talbot


Biracial, multiracial, racial ambiguity, self-concept, racial identity


The present study examined the relationship between racial ambiguity and self-concept in multiracial individuals. Research as to the experiences of multiracial people is limited both in frequency and in scope. As multiracial individuals continue to grow in number, understanding their unique experiences will become more important to social scientists (e.g., psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists) across disciplines. The current study examined two hypotheses and explored a series of additional relationships. The theoretical framework that was utilized for this study was Symbolic Interaction Theory. This theory provided an effective way to understand how people use and make meaning of their surrounding social contexts to understand themselves (i.e., through reflected appraisals). Participants for this study were solicited from various Facebook and Yahoo subgroups. One-hundred twenty-eight participants completed a web-based anonymous survey. Descriptive data were collected and reported. T-tests and ANOVAs were performed as part of the preliminary analyses. Bivariate correlations were then calculated to determine the degree of relationship between the study’s variables. It was predicted that self-concept would correlate negatively with racial ambiguity. The study’s predictions were mostly supported. Self-concept was negatively impacted by racial ambiguity. Ethnic identity was less impacted. At least one group difference was observed as Asian/White participants tended to answer differently than other respondents. Research implications, significance, and limitations are included.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access