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Ethnic Identity Development Measures: Racial Identity Attitude Scale

Racial identity measurement originated in nigrescence stage models developed in the early 1970s by William E. Cross and Charles W. Thomas. Thomas A. Parnham and Janet E. Helms developed the Racial Identity Attitude Scale–Black (RIAS-B) to measure four racial identity development sequences rooted in the Cross model.

Developmental Sequences of Racial Identity

The RIAS-B consists of four subscales, labeled conformity, dissonance, immersion/emersion, and internalization. The subscales measure a progression within African American identity development of movement from internalization of negative racial messages to deepening adoption of a positive racial identity. Racial identity is a dynamic maturational process through which African Americans understand themselves within the context of a race-based society.

During conformity (previously labeled pre-encounter), African Americans internalize negative racial stereotypes, perceiving elements of their racial background as ...

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