“Mom, You Don’t Get It”: A Critical Examination of Multiracial Emerging Adults’ Perceptions of Parental Support

Annabelle L. Atkin, Kelly F. Jackson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Scopus citations


    Multiracial families are becoming increasingly common in the United States, yet there is a dearth of research examining how parents of Multiracial youth provide support for navigating challenges associated with being mixed race in a monocentric society. The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the parental support strategies that Multiracial emerging adults perceived to be helpful in their own development. Twenty Multiracial emerging adults (50% female, mean age = 20.55) with diverse Multiracial heritages were interviewed about conversations they had with their parents regarding their racial experiences throughout their childhood. Critical supplementary analysis using constructivist grounded theory identified three themes of parental support (i.e., connection support, discrimination support, and Multiracial identity expression support) and informed a conceptual model demonstrating relationships between environmental context, parent characteristics, family dynamics, risks, and identity development. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for researchers and practitioners serving Multiracial families.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)305-319
    Number of pages15
    JournalEmerging Adulthood
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Aug 2021


    • Multiracial
    • constructivist grounded theory
    • identity development
    • parental support
    • qualitative

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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