Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Developmental and Family Psychology

Committee Director

Alan Meca

Committee Member

James F. Paulson

Committee Member

Bryan E. Porter


Racial-ethnic socialization is a largely unstudied topic for White Americans. Most of the research on racial-ethnic socialization (RES) focuses on minority populations, but more literature is starting to focus on RES in White individuals. However, the mechanisms by which RES messages are transmitted are understudied. This study examined how prior parental RES strategies (i.e., egalitarianism, history of other groups, group differences, preparation for bias, general discrimination, and discrimination against other groups) impacted White college students’ own attitudes towards ethnic-racial minorities (i.e., racist, colorblind, and multicultural) and how these attitudes influenced inclusive (and non-inclusive) behavior, psychosocial costs of racism (White empathic reactions towards racism, White guilt, and White fear of others), and implicit biases. Findings showed that group differences and preparation for bias strategies were significantly associated with racist and color-blind attitudes. Results for socialization strategies regarding egalitarian messages and discrimination were mixed. Racist and color-blind attitudes resulted in less inclusive behavior and mixed findings for psychosocial costs (less guilt, less empathy, more fear), whereas multicultural attitudes resulted in less psychosocial costs (less fear and guilt). Results suggest that colorblindness is a particularly dangerous racial attitude, as it is complicit in perpetuating racism by failing to address the reality of racial inequality. The results of this study can be used to target mechanisms for intervention and provide guidance on how to prevent the intergenerational transmission of racism and promote antiracism.


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