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Psychological Diversity and Sense of Belonging in Children Term Paper


Psychology and diversity are issues so important to the lives and existence of minority groups. Coming from a minority community poses challenges in the life of children and they always fight with issues of identity. It is in the desire of all children and individuals to belong, but marginalization because of societal divisions on grounds of culture can make that very difficult (Lee, Seol, Miller & Sung, 2010).

The most affected are children from minority groups adopted into families of different races. Diversity leads to variance in the psychological statuses of people. For black children living in white families, there are the cases of less confidence and high anxiety levels. Psychological diversity accounts for the differences in behaviors of people. This study focuses on the psychological impact on children growing up in mixed race families. It will also focus on how psychological diversity affects children and the treatment they receive from school, friends, peers and society.

Adoption of children

The rate of adopting black children by white parents is low because of policy issues. There are higher chances for children from black and white mixed races to have placement with white adopting parents than in the case of a purely black child. However, the choice of the child to adopt always remains as a preference of the adopting parents. There is always the need for familial belonging even in adoption cases and that limits adopters’ choices. Without any shared biological similarities and shared racial appearances, adopted children feel out of place and it produces the chronic effect of psychological disturbances for lack of racial bonding (Lee, Seol, Miller & Sung, 2010).

Peer victimization

There is variance of peer victimization depending on ethnicity. Ethnic contexts in schools can lead to victimization of children from minority communities. Felix & Sukkyung, (2011) reported a high victimization risk for ethnically minor children in schools. Their victimization is in the form of verbal, physical and sexual victimization. Diversity in schools then contributes to psychological problems suffered by children, whenever, they are in schools as the minority group. Their safety diminishes because of the targeting by peers on grounds of their race and ethnicity. There are several cases of segregation of black children and they suffer from instances of dislike from their peers.

There is psychological distraction of the students especially if they study in classrooms where they are minority resulting from diversity differences. According to what Wilson & Rodkin, (2011) claims, the segregation by black children results from their efforts for positive association preferences with same ethnicity. There is a negative association presence in black children with cross ethnicity and such scenarios often leave them psychologically strained especially in cases where their peers are from different ethnicities (Wilson & Rodkin, 2011).

Psychological development

Disruption of the development of children through placement interferes with their psychological advancement and leaves them struggling with behavioral problems (Lee, Seol, Miller & Sung, 2010). Parents are role models to their children during the development stages. They influence the cognitive, personality and emotional development of children and act as a life course guides as they help in the formation of life perspectives and timing of events in the lives of children.

The difference in settings black children feel when living in white families start from the moment of their adoption. This depends on the age of the child at adoption. However, displacement leads to can lead to psychological disruptions leading to stress, which can undermine the development of the child. The entry into a new family for instance, accompanies relocation to new neighborhoods and change of school (Gibson-Davis & Gassman-Pines, 2010).

Mitigating psychological diversity issues

It is necessary to address the complexity in the issues of racism, ethnicity, race and prejudice. This can help the children with understanding the power behind the labeling in those lines depending on ethnic backgrounds. Inclusion of ethnicity lessons within classrooms support psychological health necessary for children of minority backgrounds living in white families and neighborhoods. This is in the recognition of the fact that the world is changing and children become sensitive of their surroundings. Children living in blended families need to learn coping skills with the situations they face in their families (Gibson-Davis & Gassman-Pines, 2010).

Children have open minds and require guidance on any situation they face. They listen and watch everything that takes place in their families and any stressful situation presents the children to psychological strains. They need to be accepted with their diversity deficit and that remains as a role of the parents staying with them. It is the white parent to give them guidance regarding their lives without any instances of being judgmental because of their color.

When a black child lives in a white family, there is little chance for interacting with fellow blacks and that leaves no room for having a sense of belonging. Black children living with whites face a white dominated interaction in the family and they face the stereotypes family associations may have against blacks. That influences their attitude and they remain with the limitations of their diversity limitations (Kawabata & Crick, 2008).

The reason for diversity arises from the differences in social settings. There are social settings, which are visible while others are invisible. However, the psychological effect on diversity minor people requires consideration beyond visible social constructs. This is because diversity affects people psychologically regardless of the visibility of situations surrounding them in their families. For this reason, there are several aspects black children may face while living in white families.

Such silent issues may affect psychological adjustments of black children in their white families. There are misconceptions whites have concerning blacks, and these lead to stereotyping, which affects the health of blacks leaving with them; such stereotypes lead to social injustices lead to prejudice since the thinking of others regarding minority groups leading to influences on their behaviors. At the same time, black children living with white families while struggling with identity issues limit themselves to their ethnicity identities forming the way they feel about themselves and even how others may treat them (Simsek, Erol, Oztop & Munir, 2007).

Living in white families for black children affects their feelings, behaviors and thoughts in an intertwined manner within their social environments. Through the concept of social perception, minority children face stereotypical subjections of information in their subconscious memories and that could lead them into making conclusions about the whites in their families (Card, 2010). These mistaken judgments of social settings because of diversity issues the children can create limitations and biases, which affect them psychologically. As a social actor, children have expectations from their families and that may influence the reaction of their families towards them.

These may stem from the feeling of inadequacy leading to treatment with a difference from the whites. The avoidance the children develop affect interactions leading to marginalization and alteration of the behavior others have towards the black children (Boatright-Horowitz & Soeung, 2009).

Another influential factor is in the feelings about the environment the children stay. The psychological influence of how the children regard their families gives identities. Black children living in white families may feel inadequate since they may not have the chance of embracing the pride of being who they are out of misplacement. Being different from the other family members, peers and neighbors may lead to psychological alienation due to lack of identities. It is worth noting that the treatment the children receive in their families is helpful for coping in the diversity situation. Those living with the child must appreciate the differences they have without prejudice (Crosnoe & Wildsmith, 2011)


Diversity takes place in different forms with racial segregation being one of the most common forms of diversity. There are other forms of diversity such as age, gender, sexual preferences and disability. However, on the cases of diversity in terms of diversity, everything happens in social categories, which influence the psychological predisposition of an individual. This affects their feelings, behavior and thoughts. The psychological settings of diversity come in terms of thoughts actions and judgments. At the same time, it can be in terms of social contexts such as a black child living in a white family setting and these have diverse effects on acts and identities (Sacerdote, 2007).


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Crosnoe, R., & Wildsmith, E. (2011). Nonmarital Fertility, Family Structure, and the Early School Achievement of Young Children From Different Race/Ethnic and Immigration Groups. Applied Developmental Science, 15(3), 156-170. Web.

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Lee, R. M., Seol, K., Miller, M. J., & Sung, M. (2010). The Behavioral Development of Korean Children in Institutional Care and International Adoptive Families. Developmental Psychology, 46(2), 468-478.

Sacerdote, B. (2007). How Large Are the Effects from Changes in Family Environment? A Study of Korean American Adoptees. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122(1), 119-157.

Wilson, T., & Rodkin, P. (2011). African American and European American children in diverse elementary classrooms: social integration, social status, and social behavior. Child Development, 82(5), 1454-1469. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Psychological Diversity and Sense of Belonging in Children'. 27 November.

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