Date of Conferral







Susan Rarick


Census data highlight swiftly changing demographics in the United States with over 9 million people self-identifying as multiracial. Scholars agree that the multiracial population has been historically understudied, and that this population may have differing experiences from the majority and other minorities. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the dating experiences of women who self-identify as Latina and Caucasian. This study was grounded in literature pertaining to the unique experiences of multiracial individuals, with emphasis on biracial relationship experiences, family influence on biracial identity and experiences, and the history of biracial identity theory development. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis to guide the study, eight biracial women were interviewed. From these interviews, data were gathered that highlighted the dating experiences of biracial women, the unique dating challenges they faced, and how biracial women perceived family influence on their dating experiences. Key findings include a deeper understanding of the fluidity of biracial self-identity, descriptors that are used to describe the physical appearance of biracial women by dating partners, and the ways in which families influence dating partner selection. While this study contributed to narrowing the gap in the literature it is recommended that further research focus on the unique experiences of biracial individuals. Understanding these unique experiences may not only assist mental health practitioners in gaining a deeper understanding of an understudied population, but also serves to better inform society about culture and diversity issues in general. A deeper understanding of diversity and greater cultural awareness are steps toward positive social change through culturally informed practice and policy implementation.