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Racial Identity: “How Did My Identity Develop Over The Years?”

Racial photoDo you know how your racial identity developed?

Do you know why you see things around this topic as you do?

Did you know racial identity development has a lot to do with how you see yourself and others?

In this brief article, I discuss how racial identity can impact our worlds (even mental and emotional health) more than we may think.

It took me a few years before I could figure out what my worldview was. I’ve always been rather vocal and independent. But racial identity development may take more time to develop because of the pressure to confirm or integrate and/or the pressure to segregate in some cultures.

Even for those who are not of color, racial identity development is important in terms of how you see yourself and others, connect with others, and support others in the world.

Our racial identity is developed as we grow throughout the lifespan and may change many times over time. It is a dynamic process that is often influenced by intrapsychic and interpersonal forces.

John and Joy Hoffman compiled a model to help explain the stages people of color and Caucasian/Europeans experience as they develop.

The stages for people of color include:

  1. Dissonance
  2. Immersion
  3. Emersion
  4. Internalization

The stages for Caucasians/Europeans include:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Resistance
  3. Retreat
  4. Emergence

The two additional stages for both groups include:

  1. Conformity
  2. Integrative Awareness


For an explanation of each stage and examples, watch my most recent video:

Photo by W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Racial Identity: “How Did My Identity Develop Over The Years?”

Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC

Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC, is a licensed therapist and internationally certified trauma professional, in private practice, who specializes in working with children and adolescents who suffer from mood disorders, trauma, and disruptive behavioral disorders. She also provides international consultations and works with some young and older adults struggling with grief & loss or life transitions. Hill strives to help clients to realize and actualize their strengths in their home environments and in their relationships within the community. She credits her career passion to a “divine calling” and is internationally recognized for corresponding literary works as well as appearances on radio and other media platforms. She is an author, family consultant, Keynote speaker, and founder of Anchored Child & Family Counseling. Visit her at Anchored-In-Knowledge or Twitter and Youtube Youtube If you are interested in scheduling a telehealth family consultation, feel free to let me know. *Ms. Hill has moved all content to her other social media platforms. Take care!

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APA Reference
Hill, T. (2020). Racial Identity: “How Did My Identity Develop Over The Years?”. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Aug 2020
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