Multiracial Identities and Mental Health

Roughly 10 percent of the population, or 33.8 million people, in the U.S. identify as multiracial, according to the U.S. Census.

While a sense of belonging and cultural identity is a protective factor for many single-race individuals, people who identify as biracial or multiracial may not feel the same sense of acceptance as their single-race counterparts. Because they don’t fit neatly into any one group, people with a multiracial background often find themselves in between two (or more) cultural worlds.

Other Factors

Treatment concerns

There is a lack of research that studies the connections between multiracial identities and mental health implications. Some studies point to a generally higher risk of behavioral health problems for multiracial youth.

Bi/multiracial youth are also at a higher risk of substance use than monoracial youth.

Similar to monoracial identities, bi/multiracial people’s mental health is negatively affected by the discrimination and racism they face. In addition to traditional discrimination, bi/multiracial people can be excluded from their own racial or cultural group because of their mixed-race status.


Multiracial Identities and Mental Health

Quick Facts

  • Some research suggests that multiracial Latine adolescents experience more behavioral health problems than monoracial Latine adolescents. (National Library of Medicine)
  • Multiracial children are often subject to institutional discrimination from schools, many of which don’t permit multiracial students to choose more than one race on demographic forms. This lack of control in being able to properly self-identify has been shown to affect mental health. (American Psychological Association)
  • Multiracial adults who felt connected to all parts of their identity reported fewer negative mental health symptoms. (Journal of Counseling Psychology)


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