Children's attitudes towards multiracial children

Gayle Lynn Chesley


The purpose of the present study was to determine if race of respondent, race of child, and race of child's friends are related to childrens' ratings of the target child's self-perception and social satisfaction. A total of 144 children in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade (African American = 72, European American = 72) read a vignette in which race of the target child (European American, African American, or multiracial) and race of the child's friends (European American or African American) were experimentally controlled. Participants assessed the child using a revision of Harter's (1985) Self-Perception Profile for Children and a revised version of the Lonliness and Social Dissatisfaction Scale (Asher, Hymel, & Renshaw, 1984). Results of a 2 x 2 x 3 MANOVA revealed a significant two-way interaction for race of child and race of respondent on participants' ratings of the child's athletic competence, and a main effect for race of respondent on the child's sense of self-worth. Additionally, Chi-square tests revealed a significant effect for race of child on respondents' correct identification of the race of the child in the vignette. The implications of the current findings for African American/European American multiracial children are discussed.