Multi-ethnic Family Relationship Issues Annotated Bibliography

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry . (March 2011). “Multiracial Children.” Facts for Families, no 71. Washington, D.C. This website provides a brief summary of the growing population of multiracial children, and addressed the topics of their emotional needs and the role of parents. Regarding emotional needs, they are no different than other children. They usually have a higher self-esteem than other children, but may reject both cultures of their parents in the event of divorce. Parents need to be aware and prepare for discrimination from their communities and their own families.

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. (2011). “Multiracial Families.” AAMFT Consumer Update. Alexandria, VA. This website summarizes some of the struggles of multiracial families and children. Child may struggle with identity, the feeling of having to choose sides, racial guilt. Race may be intentionally or inadvertently devaluated in these families, which actually causes more conflict. It also briefly addresses peers, and what to do if these conflict signs appear in a family.

Cooper, Anderson (April 8, 2012). “Kids on Race.” Anderson Cooper 360. CNN. This report interviewed children and parents on race. Some of the highlighted findings are that younger Black children are more open and positive toward interracial friendships than White children, but by adolescence both groups are equally negative. Most of the negative outlook and prejudices comes as a result of learning from adult influences.

Driscoll, Amy and Nagel, Nancy G. (2008). “Interracial Marriages and Biracial Children.” Excerpted from Early Childhood Education: Birth – 8: The World of Children, Families, and Educators, 4th ed. (2007). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. The authors of this excerpt primarily stress the importance of socializing biracial children in both their cultures, so that they will be able to fit into both rather than neither. Being able to fluidly fit in increases self-esteem.

Hud-Aleem, Raushanah and Countryman, Jacqueline. (2008 November). “Biracial Identity Development and Recommendations in Therapy.” Psychiatry, 5(11): 37–44. Edgmont. Identity development is an important area with which therapists who work with children should be familiar. The number of biracial children in the United States is increasing, and although this may not be the reason that a child presents for therapy, it is an area that often should be explored. This article will review the similarities and differences between Black and White racial identity development in the United States and address special challenges for the biracial child. Recommendations for treatment in therapy are reviewed. (article abstract)

Jackson Nakazawa, Donna. (2004). Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?: A Parent’s Guide To Raising Multiracial Children. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.

“Am I black or white or am I American?” “Why don’t my eyes look like yours?” “Why do people always call attention to my ‘different’ hair?” Helping a child understand his mixed racial background can be daunting, especially when, whether out of honest appreciation or mean-spiritedness, peers and strangers alike perceive their features to be “other.” Drawing on psychological research and input from over fifty multiracial families, Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? addresses the special questions and concerns facing these families, explaining how we can best prepare multiracial children of all ages to make their way confidently in our color-conscious world. From the books and toys to use in play with young children, to advice on guiding older children toward an unflappable sense of self, Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? is the first book to outline for parents how, exactly, to deflect the objectifying attention multiracial children receive. Full of powerful stories and counsel, it is sure to become the book adoptive and birth parents of different races alike will look to for understanding as they strive to raise their children in a changing world. (publisher’s description from

McCubbin, Hamilton. (2010). Multiethnicity And Multiethnic Families: Development, Identity, And Resilience. Honolulu, HI : Le Publications.

This book addresses the following topics (taken from the Table of Contents):

  • Intermarriage Trends, Issues, and Implications
  • Bridges or Barriiers: Multiracial Families and Race Relations
  • Multiraciality and Health Disparities: Encountering the Contradictions and Conundrums of Race, Ethnicity, and Identity
  • Race Socialization in Multiethnic Families: The Emotional Labor of Minorities in Majority Settings
  • In the Name of Race and the Father? The Role of Father-Child Interactions in the Identity of Multiracial Adolescents
  • Interracial Marriage, Family Type and Consequential Family Socioeconomic Well-being
  • Post-Adoption Risk and Protective Factors and the Social and Academic Competence of Internationally Adopted Children
  • Trauma and Resilience

While this book has general principles, it also contains chapters specifically devoted to multiracial Hawaiians, other island peoples, and Native Americans.

Pickford Ramirez, Laura. (2012). “How to Teach Biracial Children about Racism and Prejudice.”  Family Matters Parenting MagazineThis author has expertise in Native American parenting, and the focus of this article is the importance and strategies of teach biracial children about racism and prejudice.

Rapalo, Nilsy. (January 18, 2012). “Multi-Ethnic Families: An Approach With Love and Compassion To Generate Positive Actions.” Charleston:  SCDMH Multi-Cultural Council, Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center. This presentation from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health defines multiethnic/multicultural families and gives strategies for acculturation.

Rockquemore , Kerry Ann  and Laszloffy, Tracey A. (2005). Raising Biracial Children. New York, NY: Altamira Press

As the multiracial population in the United States continues to rise, new models for our understanding of mixed-race children and how their conception of racial identity must be developed. A wide divide between academics who research biracial identity, and the everyday world of parents and practitioners who raise and deal with mixed-race children exists. This book aims to fill this gap by providing an extensive synthesis of the existing research in the field, as well as a model for better understanding the unique process of racial identity development for mixed-race children. Raising Biracial Children provides parents, educators, social workers, and anyone interested in multiracial issues with an accessible framework for understanding healthy mixed-race identity development and to translate those findings into practical care-giving strategies. (publisher’s description from

Wright, Marguerite. (2000). I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.

A child’s concept of race is quite different from that of an adult. Young children perceive skin color as magical–even changeable–and unlike adults, are incapable of understanding adult prejudices surrounding race and racism. Just as children learn to walk and talk, they likewise come to understand race in a series of predictable stages. Based on Marguerite A. Wright’s research and clinical experience, I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla teaches us that the color-blindness of early childhood can, and must, be taken advantage of in order to guide the positive development of a child’s self-esteem.

Wright answers some fundamental questions about children and race including:

  • What do children know and understand about the color of their skin?
  • When do children understand the concept of race?
  • Are there warning signs that a child is being adversely affected by racial prejudice?
  • How can adults avoid instilling in children their own negative perceptions and prejudices?
  • What can parents do to prepare their children to overcome the racism they are likely to encounter?
  • How can schools lessen the impact of racism?

(publisher’s description from

Williams, Heather Andrea. (2012). Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery. The University of North Carolina Press.

Alupoaicei, Marla. (Sept. 2012). “Love in Any Language: Eight tips for launching a healthy, happy intercultural marriage.” Today’s Christian Woman.

Newbell, Trillia. (Aug. 2012). “United in Christ:How interracial marriage demonstrates the gospel.” Today’s Christian Woman.

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