Theses Doctoral

Development and Evaluation of the Minoritized Multiracial Stress Scale (MMSS)

Lei, Nina

Multiracial people are the fastest growing population in the United States; yet despite their growing population size, they often experience prejudice, stigma, and discrimination (Pew Research Center, 2015). Research suggests that racist discrimination—both in its overt and covert forms—is associated with mental health concerns for multiracial people (e.g., Sue & Spanierman, 2020; Townsend et al., 2009; Tran et al., 2016). Currently, very few studies have assessed proximal stressors, or those related to subjective perceptions and appraisals, with samples of multiracial people. Research with other racial minority groups suggests that expectations of rejection and internalized racism are significant stressors for these populations (Chan & Mendoza‐Denton, 2008; Henson et al., 2013). While several measures currently exist that examine the race-based stressors multiracial people encounter, none of the scales adequately address proximal stressors (Franco & O’Brien, 2018; Salahuddin & O’Brien, 2011; Yoo et al., 2016). The purpose of the present study is to address the limitations of previous measures and develop a measurement of race-related proximal minority stressors for multiracial people. Based on a review of multiracial minority stressors (i.e., expectations of rejection, internalized monoracism, and concealment of multiracial identity) and psychological distress and well-being, a measure of minoritized multiracial stress was developed (the Minoritized Multiracial Stress Scale; MMSS). The proposed MMSS was evaluated by eight expert reviewers and a pilot study of 13 multiracial people. Items were modified based on their feedback and the scale was subsequently administered to a sample of 569 self-identified multiracial people. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to determine and confirm factor structure. A four-factor structure model consisting of internalized monoracism, concealment and concealment motivation, expectations of rejection, and what appeared to be a pride construct, emerged from the exploratory factor analysis. The pride factor was not supported in the confirmatory factor analysis. The final model confirmed in the confirmatory factor analysis sample and supported in the full sample was composed of three factors: internalized monoracism, concealment and concealment motivation, and expectations of rejection. Convergent, concurrent, and discriminant validity were established. The present research proposes a valid and reliable measurement of proximal stressors for multiracial people. Implications of the MMSS, its limitations, and future directions for clinical and research work are discussed.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Counseling Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Velez, Brandon L.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 12, 2022