Racial identity statuses: Applications to practice.

Decades of empirical research have highlighted the importance of understanding the variation that exists among clients with regard to their psychological understanding of themselves as members of a particular racial group. The study of racial identity has provided mental health clinicians with a general sense of how a person’s racial identity may impact a client’s thought processes, behaviors, and ability to cope with race-based experiences. Despite a plethora of research supporting the utility of understanding racial identity as a construct, particularly for mental health professionals, far less has been written about how to directly apply an understanding of racial identity theory to practice. The purpose of this paper is to describe an approach to understanding racial identity statuses that has direct relevance to practice; one that generates an individual racial identity status profile and does not rely on group mean scale score information as other studies have done. Such a procedure could be used by practitioners as an assessment and treatment tool or by researchers who could investigate relationships to various clinically based outcomes, which could advance mental health interventions as well as knowledge. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)