Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Raymond Millimet


One’s self-concept is comprised of both personal and social identities. This study will focus on the racial/ethnic component of social identity for the multiracial population: individuals with heritage from two or more different racial/ethnic groups. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the racial identity process for multiracial individuals and how this process is impacted by the relative status of racial/ethnic groups that comprise one’s heritage and the perceived physical appearance of an individual. Of central concern is how multiracial individuals racially self label as well as how multiracial and monoracial individuals racially categorize other multiracial individuals. Secondly, self esteem is investigated to challenge previous research supporting a pathological perception of the multiracial population. It is hypothesized that the self-esteem of multiracial individuals is similar to the self-esteem of other persons of color. Further, although most racial identity theory for multiracial individuals argue that embracing all cultures of one’s heritage is the only adaptive resolution, it is predicted that self-esteem scores for multiracial individuals that embrace many cultures is similar to those who embrace only one.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1999, Estrella Aurora Ramirez

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