In Multiracial families, monoracial parents have a unique responsibility of raising children who have multiple racial heritages that they share, partly, with each of their parents in addition to their own Biracial experiences. This interracial dynamic complicates parent–child relationships and can leave Biracial youth feeling less close to and supported by their parents than monoracial youth (Lorenzo-Blanco et al., 2013; Schlabach, 2013). Communication Accommodation Theory (Giles in: ITL Int J Appl Linguist 35(1):27–42, 1977) and a growing body of qualitative research suggests that parent–child relationships in Multiracial families can be strengthened through parental racial humility (i.e., parenting approach that demonstrates a respect for the unique racial identity and experiences of a Biracial child). The current study advances this scholarship by quantitatively exploring how parental racial humility relates to parent–child closeness among 713 Biracial Black-White adolescents and emerging adults (61% male; M = 18.40, SD = 3.71). The moderating role of demographic characteristics (e.g., child gender, parent gender/race) were also explored. The findings revealed that racially humble parenting was significantly and positively associated with parent–child closeness. More specifically, racial humility appeared to be most important for adolescents and their relationships with White parents and Black fathers. The implications for research and practice are discussed.
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In this text, the term “Biracial” refers to individuals with parents from two different monoracial groups. The term “Multiracial” refers to individuals with who have one or even two Biracial parents. Please see Atkin et al. (2022) for a detailed explanation of terminology pertaining to Multiracial populations in research.
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This study was funded by the National Science Foundation (Award Number 2104888). Dissertation Grants from the American Psychological Association, Society for Community Research and Action, and Society for Research on Child Development were also used to support data collection.
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Green, M.N., Bryant, S. Racially Humble Parenting: Exploring the Link Between Parental Racial Humility and Parent–Child Closeness in Multiracial Black-White Families. Race Soc Probl 15, 32–44 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-023-09388-5