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Kerwin and Ponterotto's Biracial Identity Development Model: Description and Suggestions for Support of the Biracial Child

This job describes the biracial identity development model developed by Kerwin and Ponterotto. It also includes the typical attitudes and transitions that occur at each stage as well as suggestions for support and encouragement of the biracial child during each of the developmental stages.

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Kerwin and Ponterotto's Biracial Identity Development Model: Description and Suggestions for Support of the Biracial Child

What is Biracial/Multiracial?
A biracial child is defined as one whose parents represent two or more distinct cultural, racial, or ethnic backgrounds.

Kerwin and Ponterotto's (1995) biracial identity development model focuses on developmental age periods (or life events) and the typical attitudes and transitions that occur at each stage. This model provides a useful framework for mental health professionals who work with biracial individuals.

Preschool stage: Kerwin and Ponterotto's model begins with the preschool stage, during which individuals become aware of racial and ethnic differences. During this stage, most children who are multiracial and multiethnic begin to ask questions about their physical features, their racial identity, and why they are different from other children and their parents.
Support: encourage them to openly discuss any physical differences they notice between themselves and others, answer their questions about race and being biracial, praise their physical features that may be the target of negative comments from others, and expose them to a range of play items and storybooks that reflect their unique racial heritage

Entry to School: Biracial individuals are ...

Solution Summary

Kerwin's and Ponterotto's Biracial Identity Development Model is highlighted.

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