Objective: Racial Identity can be defined as the process through which an individual examines the psychological, cultural, physical, and sociopolitical aspects of being a member of a specific race. Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. Most studies defend that having an intellectual disability is a powerful and stigmatizing identity that is believed to override all others including ethnic, gender, and religious identities. In these cases, the development of a racial identity becomes even more important due to its influence in adjustment such as self-esteem, intergroup relations, academic performance, and career aspirations. Cognitive-developmental theory has been used to explain the concurrent development of intellect and racial identity. Studies suggest that cognitive mechanisms such as the level of concrete operational thought and racial–ethnic constancy underlie development of in-group pride and commitment among minority group individuals. There are five stages of racial identity development which a person progresses in discarding an old identity and achieving a new one. The stages including pre-encounter, encounter, immersion/emersion, Internalization, and internalization-commitment. Knowledge about the neuropsychological construct of intellectual disability and the psychological construct of racial identity is valuable when working with minority children and adolescents with disabilities. An attempt to facilitate an integration of identity between two group memberships when serving individuals who are members of more than one minority group (e.g., ethnic minority and disabled) may aid in rapport building as well as promotion of self-esteem and better adjustment skills.
Racial-Ethnic Identity Development Among Intellectually Disabled Children and Adolescents: Theoretical and Practical Considerations
M Furtado; PEDIATRICS
Racial-Ethnic Identity Development Among Intellectually Disabled Children and Adolescents: Theoretical and Practical Considerations. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 555-556. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.186
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