Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Sherkat, Darren

Abstract

Despite growing in numbers very quickly in the last half century, interracial marriage remains a disproportionately small segment of all marriages. Much research has been conducted investigating reasons for participation in interracial relationships, and the forces which impede those relationships. Using longitudinal data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), I investigated several theories which had previously been researched using data of inferior quality, or only in the context of marriage relationships. I found that macrostructural and contact theories of race relations are supported strongly, and that multiracial identity has a very strong positive effect on the log odds of participation in an interracial relationship. More research is necessary to gain a full sociological understanding of interracial relationship participation as adolescents age and become young adults.

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