In particular, we explored how generational differences might relate to openness to interracial relationships.
We also were interested in how closely college students predicted their parents’ views on interracial dating and marriage.
As recent as in 1967, sixteen states still banned interracial marriages until the Supreme Court declared those laws unconstitutional in the landmark case of Loving v. Slavery, prejudice, and stereotypes perpetuated discrimination against interracial relationships.
Researchers reported a change in societal attitudes during recent decades with more individuals engaging in interracial dating and marriage (Fiebert, Karamol, Kasdan, 2000; Gurung & Duong, 1999).
For example, programs and activities implemented to meet the needs of latchkey children have included extended-day programs in public schools, after-school hotlines, and neighborhood “block mothers” (Lamorey, Robinson, Rowland, Coleman, 1998).
Along with other unofficial programs and activities, these likely have contributed to children developing viewpoints and social comforts beyond the influences of their primary caregivers.
In particular, the research literature shows only a handful of comparative studies regarding parent and child perspectives on interracial relationships to exist.
Yancey and Yancey (1998) suggested that the “availability” of individuals for friendship was perhaps the most probable reason for interracial relationships.For example, in many African-American families, the mother has the most influence on the dating preferences of children, whereas the father has more influence in Caucasian households (Knox et al., 2000).Many interracial couples do not have the full support of parents or family members.Generally, the older generations have been more opposed to interracial relationships while younger generations have tended to view interracial relationships most favorably (Lovstuen, 2001; Todd & Mckinney, 1992).Since family interactions provide the first model of socialization and relationship formation, parental and family perspectives play a salient role in shaping an individual’s openness to interracial relationships.In sum, researchers have needs to understand better the dynamics involved within family, racial, and relationship milieus.In this study, we addressed one specific element of the broader domain of relationship diversity.Another reason for lack of parental and family support can be unfamiliarity of family members with interacting closely with other races and not feeling comfortable in multiethnic settings.While substantial research has focused on views of interracial relationships, few researchers have addressed parental and family perspectives and influences on their children.Miller, Olson, and Fazio (2004) reported that white female participants expected higher disapproval of interracial relationships only if they also reported their parents were racist.Culture and race seem to exert a particular influence on family interactions regarding racial attitudes (Foeman & Nance, 2002; Lovstuen, 2001; Mc Fadden & Moore, 2001).