Inconsistency within expressed and observed racial identifications

Citation

Pirtle, Whitney N. L. & Brown, Tony N. (2016). Inconsistency within expressed and observed racial identifications. Sociological Perspectives. vol. 59 (3) pp. 582-603

Abstract

The present study extends previous work on distress that arises from discrepancy between self and interviewer racial identifications. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) data, we examine mental health consequences of inconsistency over time within expressed (self) and observed (interviewer) racial identifications among American Indians. Given that phenotype signals race, we also contribute to prior research by examining whether skin color moderates inconsistency's mental health consequences. Analyses show that observed racial inconsistency increased American Indians' depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. That is, when interviewers labeled a respondent "American Indian" at one wave of data but not another, there were deleterious implications for mental health status. In addition, an interaction between observed inconsistency and skin color demonstrated that observed inconsistency tended to be harmful when respondents were observed as having light skin. We argue observed inconsistency captures the distressing experience of being not readily classifiable. © Pacific Sociological Association.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177%2F0731121415602133

Keyword(s)

American Indian identity mental health race racial identification

Notes

Export Date: 10 August 2016

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Sociological Perspectives

Author(s)

Pirtle, Whitney N. L.
Brown, Tony N.

Year Published

2016

Volume Number

59

Issue Number

3

Pages

582-603

Edition

August 29, 2015

DOI

10.1177/0731121415602133

Reference ID

7902