Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Psychological Science

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Jamie Abaied


racial socialization, parent-child interactions, child agency, racial diversity


Researchers know little about how White children develop ideas about race and racism. This study adds to the growing research on this topic by examining the role of racial diversity and income disparity on White children’s contributions to conversations with their parents about race and racism. White parents of White youth aged 8-17 completed a self-report survey describing the frequency and content of their child’s engagement in conversations on topics surrounding race. Quantitative statistical analyses showed that neither youth willingness to participate nor their active engagement in conversations about race were significantly related to the racial diversity or income disparity of the participant’s home county. Youth question-asking about race was also not related to racial diversity or income disparity, but youth who informed their parents about a topic related to race and racism were more likely to live in areas of higher racial diversity than those who did not bring up topics. Qualitative analyses examined themes in the questions and topics youth brought up to their parents. Key themes included questions seeking information about race and topics related to events personally witnessed. These findings contribute to the expanding knowledge on how White youth engage with their parents and form beliefs around race and racism.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Sunday, May 10, 2026