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Suejung Han

Mentor Department



Promoting open attitudes toward racial/ethnic diversity is crucial. First, in the increasingly diversified society, racial prejudice will undermine one's ability to work effectively with racially diverse individuals. Second, it is important to prevent racial/ethnically motivated hate crimes by promoting open attitudes, particularly in the current climate with 12% increase in hate crimes in the past two years (Levin, Nolan, & Reitzel, 2017) and 59% of hate crimes being motivated by race/ethnicity (Langton & Masucci, 2004-2015). One predictor of racial attitudes would be a history of socialization to racial matters through parenting. Research findings are mixed on the role of parenting in racial attitude formation. Some have found strong associations between parental and children's attitudes towards racial/ethnic minorities (e.g., Meeusen & Dhont, 2015), whereas others have found none or weak associations (e.g., Vittrup & Holden, 2010). Moreover, these studies have been mainly conducted among children. It is not clear whether adult children's racial attitudes are influenced by parental racial attitudes that were communicated when they were young. Therefore, this study examines whether there is a significant association between adult children's racial attitudes and their recall of their parents' racial attitudes that were communicated to them in their childhood. Specifically, I hypothesized that recalled parental racial attitudes would predict adult children's racial attitudes. The study is approved by the university IRB, and the data collection is underway with college students. Participants will complete an online survey of the study. Racial attitudes will be measured by responses to (a) 12 scenarios that describe behaviors of a racial/ethnic minority individual that were created for this study and (b) Color-Blind Racial Attitude Scale (Neville, Lilly, Duran, Lee, & Browne 2000). The participants will also recall parents' racial attitudes that will be measured by 15 items that were developed for this study (e.g., "were your parents open to topics having to do with race?"). The survey also included social desirability scale (Barger, 2002) and a demographic form. Two separate hierarchical regression analyses will be conducted with responses to the scenarios and Color Blindness scores as the two dependent variables, respectively, recalled parental racial attitudes as the independent variable, and social desirability as a covariate to be controlled. This study findings will inform parents in the public on their crucial roles in promoting open and empathic racial attitudes in their children, which are essential for their cultural competence and for promoting inclusive and safe climate in society.

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