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Skin-tone preferences and self-representation in Hispanic children

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Skin-tone preferences and colourism within Hispanic children have been largely unexamined in the psychological literature. The objectives of the current study were to investigate Hispanic children’s skin-tone preferences and the effect of assessor race and ethnicity on those preferences. To carry out the study, Clark and Clark’s colouring task was revised and administered to a sample of 52 Hispanic children aged five to seven years. The sample was divided into three conditions, varying by assessor background (Caucasian, Hispanic and African-American). A pronounced preference for lighter skin tones was found among children in the sample, although this preference was moderated by the race and ethnicity of the assessors administering the task. Hispanic children appear to be susceptible to a pro-light skin bias and influence from assessor skin colour as young as five.

Keywords: Hispanic; children; colourism; identity; race

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Harborview Medical Center,University of Washington, Box 359911, PS 5053, 325 9th AvenueSeattle,WA,98104, USA 2: Whitman College, 345 Boyer AvenueWalla Walla,WA,99362, USA

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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