Mapping fluidity, multiplicity, and consistency in racial/ethnic identification


Shiao, Jiannbin Lee (2016). Mapping fluidity, multiplicity, and consistency in racial/ethnic identification. 2016 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Research on racial identities has expanded from using personal race data as indicators of relative group salience, e.g. to estimate the average effect of being black relative to being white, to studying multiple observations of race data as indicators of diverse components of racial/ethnic experience, e.g. self-identification, perceived identity, and parental ancestry. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), I map the relative consistency of race data across observations of parent self-report, respondent self-report in adolescence (at school and at home), respondent self-report in young adulthood, and interviewer report in adolescence and young adulthood. First, I distinguish (a) the respondents whose data is singular and consistent across multiple observations from (b) those whose data show fluidity or multiplicity. Second, I compare alternative methods of assigning a single category to observation-contingent respondents (the official Add Health method, supplementation with the “best race” variable, and aggregate removal to a new category) by assessing the robustness of their associations with select personal, contextual, and social network characteristics.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2016 Add Health Users Conference


Shiao, Jiannbin Lee

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID