Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership

Advisor

Cawthon, Tony W.

Committee Member

Bridges, Jr. , William C.

Committee Member

Havice , Pamela A.

Committee Member

Warner , Cheryl B.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that influence mixed race college students' choice of racial identity. This study also explored whether or not there are any differences among each of the racial identity groups' perceptions of institutional support for mixed race college students. The theoretical framework of this study was formed by Chickering's Theory of Psychosocial Identity Development, Wijeyesinghe's Factor Model of Multiracial Identity, and Renn's Patterns of Multiracial Identity. The eight research questions that guided this study addressed hypothesized factors that may have a relationship with a mixed race student's racial identity and students' perceptions of institutional support for mixed race students. The sample included traditional age college students (18-24 at the time of the survey) who are mixed race (which is defined as having biological parents belonging to different racial groups) and enrolled as full-time students (registered for twelve or more credits) at an institution that was a member of the University System of Georgia. This study employed a survey instrument that included 63 multiple-choice and Likert scale questions and was divided into six sections: (a) racial ancestry, (b) racial identity, (c) physical appearance, (d) cultural attachment, (e) other social identities, and (f) institutional characteristics. The following quantitative methods were employed to analyze the collected data: (a) descriptive statistics, (b) Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test, (c) analysis of variance, (d) multinomial logistic regression, and (e) factor analysis. Implications for future research, policy, and practice are included.

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