Biracial children's psychosocial development from kindergarten to fifth grade: links to individual and contextual characteristics
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] With a median age of 9.7 years Black-White biracial children represented the youngest race combination in the 2000 U.S. Census. Hence, how parents designate them racially is of relevance. Furthermore, during middle childhood biracial children must negotiate increasingly important peer relations in tandem with their own and their peers' racial awareness, which may pose a challenge to their adjustment. Utilizing Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory and the racial socialization literature, this study examined 239 Black-White biracial children's interpersonal skill, externalizing, and internalizing behavior trajectories, their associations with children's parent-reported race, and the moderating effects of child gender, parent socio-economic status, and school minority concentration on these links. Three-level linear growth models suggested no-growth trajectories of children's teacher-reported interpersonal skills and internalizing behaviors, and slight increases in their externalizing behaviors between kindergarten and fifth grade. Children's parent-reported race significantly predicted patterns of change only in externalizing behaviors. Child gender and school minority concentration did not moderate these relations. Parent SES status had a significant positive effect on children's internalizing behavior trajectories, and a near-significant moderating effect on their links to children's parent-reported race. Implications of these findings for future research are also discussed.
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