Exploring the Links Between Racial Identity Attitudes and Psychological Feelings of Closeness in African American College Students

The relationship between racial identity attitudes and psychological closeness to various African American groups was examined in 171 African American college students at a predominantly White southeastern university. The data were collected using the Racial Identity Attitude Scale (Helms & Parham, 1985), and a scale measuring Perceived Psychological Closeness to African Americans. The closeness scale is a 14-item instrument that was found to represent (in this sample) psychological closeness to 4 African American groups. Internalized racial identity attitudes indicated positive feelings toward various groups of African Americans. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that internalized racial identity attitudes were predictive of psychological closeness to African Americans, although this varied somewhat depending on the subgroup.

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