Publication Date



The purpose of the following study was to expand the knowledge base on color consciousness in African American life. The settings included 2 large cities, one in the Midwest and the other in the Southeast. 37 African Americans completed surveys on self-esteem, ethnic identity, intra-racial perceptions of skin color and a demographic sheet to assess color consciousness. Participants then participated in a semi-structured focus group. Bivariate regression analysis revealed darker skinned participants’ preference for darker skin (r = .43; p=.01). Paired t-test analyses reflected skin tone biases and correlation analyses suggested relationships between participant education level and ethnic identity and participant education level and parental income. Focus group analyses indicated color consciousness and the significance of skin tone in life experiences. Implications for mental health professionals are discussed.

Recommended Citation

Breland-Noble, A. M., Collins, W., & King, J. (2003). Color Consciousness and African American Adults: Self Perception, Trait Ascription, and Interpersonal Experiences, Dimensions of Counseling, 31(2), 1-12. doi:10.22237/mijoc/1064966460





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