Publication Date

April 2019

Advisor(s)

Anna Shusterman

Major

Psychology

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Previous studies have revealed the prevalence of pro-White bias in young children, making it important to uncover the mechanisms driving this bias. Literature shows that parents play a crucial role in children’s racial and ethnic socialization, the mechanisms through which information, values, and perspectives about race and ethnicity are transmitted to children. White parents, when compared to non-White parents, speak significantly less about race with their children and engage in colorblind socialization. However, there is scant research on how parents who endorse the colorblind ideology contribute to the development of intergroup biases in their children. In this study, we used a sample of 22 White and non-White mothers and 28 children to propose that higher colorblind endorsement in mothers would be correlated with higher implicit and explicit pro-White bias in children. Additionally, we aimed to replicate previous findings regarding correlates of mothers’ and children’s racial attitudes, including the influence of interracial contact. We also recruited 48 Wesleyan students to validate previous findings on the relationship between colorblind endorsement, implicit bias, explicit bias, and interracial contact. Likely due to the inability to perform informative analyses with a larger sample size, we did not find a correlation between higher colorblind endorsement in mothers and higher racial bias in children. However, we replicated previous findings of a positive relationship between colorblind endorsement and explicit and implicit pro-White bias in adults. Further research includes testing a hypothesis focused on the importance of mother’s implicit bias in the relationship between mothers’ colorblind endorsement and children’s racial bias.

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