Year: 2014

Authors: Charmaraman, L., Woo, M., Quach, A., & Erkut, S.

Source: Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Journal, 20(3), 336-352

Abstract: The U.S. Census shows that the racial-ethnic makeup of over 9 million people (2.9% of the total population) who self-identified as multiracial is extremely diverse. Each multiracial subgroup has unique social and political histories that may lead to distinct societal perceptions, economic situations, and health outcomes. Despite the increasing academic and media interest in multiracial individuals, there are methodological and definitional challenges in studying the population, resulting in conflicting representations in the literature. This content and methods review of articles on multiracial populations provides a comprehensive understanding of which multiracial populations have been included in research and how they have been studied, both to recognize emerging research and to identify gaps for guiding future research on this complex but increasingly visible population. We examine 125 U.S.-based peer-reviewed journal articles published over the past 20 years (1990 to 2009) containing 133 separate studies focused on multiracial individuals, primarily from the fields of psychology, sociology, social work, education, and public health. Findings include (a) descriptive data regarding the sampling strategies, methodologies, and demographic characteristics of studies, including which multiracial subgroups are most studied, gender, age range, region of country, and socioeconomic status; (b) major thematic trends in research topics concerning multiracial populations; and (c) implications and recommendations for future studies.

DOI: 10.1037/a0035437

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