Situational Stability and Variability in African American Racial Identity

J. Nicole Shelton, Robert M. Sellers, J. Nicole Shelton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Using the Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity as a conceptual framework, the present research investigated the stable and situational properties of African American racial identity. Study 1 illustrated that although individuals– racial identity remains the same across situations relative to other individuals, the situation can influence certain dimensions of one–s racial identity in a sample of African American undergraduate students. Study 2 demonstrated that racial identity can influence perceptions of ambiguous events. The findings are discussed with respect to how the Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity is a racial identity model for African Americans that addresses the structural processes of racial identity without disregard for the qualitative meaning of what it means to be African American in this society. Implications for research on identity in general and African American racial identity are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-50
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology


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