121: Creating an Observational Tool to Examine What White Parents Teach Their Children About Race

Ashley Walsdorf; Lorien S. Jordan
10:15 AM
11:30 AM
Marquette VIII and IX
Session #
Session Type
Session Focus
Organized By
Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Families
About the Session

Conference Attendance Hours: 1
NBCC CE Hours: 1

Authors: Ashley Walsdorf, Lorien Jordan, Carmen Valdez, Ana Chatham, Ana Cantu, Mia Smith-Bynum


The ongoing legacy of white supremacy can be felt by families across the United States (U.S.) and beyond on interpersonal, social, and political levels. For families of color, experiencing racism is a well-documented precursor to a host of negative effects including poor mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety) and poor physical health. And yet, despite being acutely aware of the harm caused by racism, little attention has been paid to the question: How do people become racist, and why does racism persist? This project aims to answer this question by examining, in vivo, what white parents teach their children about race. Twenty-five parents and their children ages 10-15 are presented with vignettes describing racially charged situations and asked to discuss on camera how they would respond. This interactive workshop will present all elements of this study including preliminary data documenting what white parents teach their children about race.


  • To assess the utility of measuring ethnic-racial socialization in White families
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of the Racial Socialization Observational Task for measuring ERS in white families
  • To theorize ways to use critical whiteness studies in the family sciences

Subject Codes: race, racism, diversity
Population Codes: Caucasian/White
Method and Approach Codes: measurement development, mixed-methodology

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