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Biracial identity in adult military children

APA Citation:

Williams, C., Guillaume, R. O., & Zamora, R. C. (2023). Biracial identity in adult military children. Identity, 23(4), 361-378. https://doi.org/10.1080/15283488.2023.2238208

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined how biracial adults who were prior military dependents perceived their racial identity while growing up within military communities. 21 Black/White biracial adults were interviewed about their racial identity development and how they fit into their community. In general, participants’ racial identity often became more salient after relocating to the United States from abroad. Participants also reported that their racial identity was dependent on a variety of cultural and environmental factors.



Branch of Service:

Air Force
Marine Corps
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:


Subject Affiliation:

Child of a service member or veteran


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)


Williams, Charlotte, Guillaume, Rene O., Zamora, Richard C.


This study sought to explore adult biracial individuals and their perceived racial identities and their own military dependent identities in military communities. Utilizing a social constructivist grounded theory methodology, the study participants consisted of 21 Black/White self-identifying biracial former military dependent children. Results show a core category, and two key categories were discovered from the analysis. The core category indicated that biopsychosocial and ecological factors across time influence biracial military identity development. These individuals have an intersecting and outsider identity that influences their community identity. The participants used different coping behaviors to ecological stressors they experienced that shaped their identity. The implications and recommendations for practice, training, and future research are discussed for this study.

Publication Type:

REACH Publication


biracial, grounded theory, identity development, military communities, military dependents

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  November 2023

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