Date of Award


Document Type

Field Project

Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)



First Advisor

Robert H. Woody

Second Advisor

Wayne Harrison

Third Advisor

Henry J. D'Souza


Empirical studies of young children’s racial attitudes and identity extend over more than five decades. The pioneering work of Clark and Clark in the 1930’s involved the use of brown and white dolls to study racial preferences, awareness, and identity o f African American children. On items that were designed to measure racial preferences and attitudes, most African American children attributed the positive characteristics to the white doll and the negative characteristics to the darker skinned doll. The current study investigated the racial identity and attitudes of African American and Caucasian children. The effects of socio-economic status (SES), as well as race of respondent upon doll preference were investigated. Results of racial preference questions were compared to the Clark and Clark (1939) study and the Hraba and Grant study (1970). While SES turned out to be a non-significant factor, the present results indicated that across all questions dealing with racial preference, both African American and Caucasian children tended to attribute more positive characteristics to the darker skinned doll. This is a significant change from previous results.

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Psychology Commons