Beautiful diverse family

The mixed-race population has increased by 32% over the last ten years, yet the bulk of psychology research has not studied this population and how they may differ in their behavior and racial perceptions from their monoracial counterparts. It is anticipated that this multiracial population will increase to around 21% of the general population by the year 2050 (Smith & Edmonston, 1997), demonstrating how important it is for people in today’s society and in research to begin focusing on not only how people from multiracial backgrounds develop and feel, but how others perceive them as well.

Tired young biracial student looking out window while studying

To address this problem, the Identity & Diversity Lab explores the experiences of both monoracial and biracial/multiracial individuals as a way to pinpoint how long-term vs. short-term contact may affect our various social behaviors, perceptions and expectations of others.  We plan to examine the fluid-like nature of biracial or multiracial people’s racial identities and how having flexible racial identities may be a benefit for this growing population. In the future, we will compare having multiple racial identities to having multiple social identities more broadly as an avenue for comparing monoracial and mixed-race populations.

Additionally, we are interested in gender identities and how people may respond to perceiving or receiving a threat to their own gender identity. Previous research has shown that individuals become anxious or aggressive following insults about their gender. Similarly, we hope to understand the pressures men feel to conform to traditional masculinity norms through their experiences, cultural backgrounds, religious affiliations, and personal views on gender.

Finally, we are examining how Latinx children and adults interpret racial categories. In Latinx communities, the process of racial self-identification can be more challenging as racial categories can be complex and/or ambiguous. Furthermore, do various racial and ethnic groups within the United States differ in their norm-enforcing language?


Keigan, J., De Los Santos, B., Gaither, S. E., Walker, C. (2024). The relationship between racial/ethnic identification and body ideal internalization, hair satisfaction, and skin tone satisfaction in black and black/white biracial women. Body Image, 50.

Straka, B., Gaither, S. (2023). Considering multiracial youth: Identity challenges and health outcomes. In M. Trent, D. G. Dooley, & J. Dougé (Eds.), Untangling the Thread of Racism. American Academy of Pediatrics.

Hantzmon, S. V., Davenport, C. A., Das Gupta, M. N., Adekunle, T. A., Gaither, S. E., Olsen, M. K., Pinheiro, S. O., Johnson, K. S., Mahoney, H., Falls, A., Lloyd, L., & Pollak, K. I. (2023). Race differences in patient trust and distrust from audio-recorded cardiology encounters. Patient Education and Counseling, 119, 108083.

Halim, M. L. D., Glazier, J. J., Anais Martinez, M., Stanaland, A., Gaither, S. E. (2023). Gender attitudes and gender discrimination among ethnically and geographically diverse young childrenInfant and Child Development,

Stanaland, A., Gaither, S., Gassman-Pines, A. (2023). When Is Masculinity “Fragile”? An Expectancy-Discrepancy-Threat Model of Masculine Identity. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 27(4), 359-377.

Meyers, C., Gaither, S. E., Remedios, J., & Pauker, K. (2022). Detecting biracial identity strength: Perceived phenotypicality inaccurate. Self and Identity. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2022.2146742

Stanaland, A., Gaither, S. E., Gassman-Pines, A. (2022). When is masculinity “fragile”? An expectancy-discrepancy-threat model of masculine identity. Personality and Social Psychology Review.

Walker, C., Gaither, S. E., De Los Santos, B., Keigan, J., Schaefer, L. M., Kevin Thompson, J. (2022). Development and validation of a measure of curvy ideals internalization.. Body Image, 43, 217-231.

Leslie, G. J., Masuoka, N., Gaither, S., Remedios, J. D., & Vinluan, A. C. (2022). Voter Evaluations of Biracial-Identified Political Candidates. Social Sciences, 11(4), 171.

Gaither, S. E., & Sims, J. P. (2022). How Cross-Discipline Understanding and Communication Can Improve Research on Multiracial Populations. Social Sciences, 11(3), 90.

Gaither, S., Chen, J., & Rules, N. (2021). Perceptions and experiences of (people with) unconventional identities.

Herrmann, S., Varnum, M. E. W., Straka, B., & Gaither, S. (2021). Social Class Identity Integration and Success for First-Generation College Students: Antecedents, Mechanisms, and Generalizability. doi: 10.31234/

Straka, B., Albuja, A., Desjardins, M., Swartzwelder, S., & Gaither, S. (2021). Alcohol Use and Related Consequences for Monoracial and Multiracial Native American/American Indian College students. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. 

Tsai, A., Straka, B., & Gaither, S. (2021). Mixed-Heritage Individuals’ Encounters with Raciolinguistic Ideologies. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 10.31234/

Stanaland, A., & Gaither, S. (2020). “Be a Man”: The Role of Social Pressure in Eliciting Men’s Aggressive Cognition. Personality and Social Personality Bulletin. doi: 10.31234/

Leer, J., Gaither, S.E., & Gassman-Pines, A. (2020). Behavioral science interventions: Integrating the decision task, context, and individual differences to inform policy. Translational Issues in Psychological Science. doi: 10.1037/tps0000243

Paul, M., Gaither, S. E., Darity Jr, W. (2020). About Face: Seeing Class and RaceJournal of Economic Issues. 

Rozek, C., & Gaither, S. E. (conditional acceptance). Not Quite White or Black: Biracial Students’ Perceptions of Threat and Belonging Across School Contexts. Journal of Early Adolescence Special Issue.

Albuja, A. F., Sanchez, D. T., & Gaither, S.E. (conditional acceptance). Intra-race intersectionality: Identity denial among dual-minority biracial people. Translational Issues in Psychological Science.

Gaither, S. E., Chen, J. M., & Rule, N. (2019). Perceptions and experiences of (people with) unconventional identities. Self & Identity, 1-7. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2020.1711802.

Skinner, A. L., Perry, S. P., & Gaither, S. E. (2019). Not quite monoracial: Biracial stereotypes explored. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Advance online version. doi: 10.1177/0146167219858344.

Albuja, A. F., Sanchez, D. T., Cipollina, R., Gaither, S. E., & Straka, B. C. (2019). Psychophysiological stress responses to bicultural and biracial identity denial. Journal of Social Issues, 75, 1165-1191. doi: 10.1111/josi.12347.

Straka, B. C., Gaither, S. E., Acheson, S. K., & Swartzwelder, H. S. (2019). “Mixed” Drinking Motivations: A Comparison of Majority, Multiracial, and Minority College Students. Social Psychological and Personality Science. Advance online version. doi: 10.1177/1948550619883294.

Gaither, S. E., Fan, S. P., & Kinzler, K. D. (2019). Thinking about multiple identities boosts children’s flexible thinking. Developmental Science, e12871.

Albuja, A. F., Sanchez, D. T., & Gaither, S. E. (2019). Identity questioning: Antecedents and consequences of prejudice attributions. Journal of Social Issues, 75, 515-537.

Albuja, A. F., Sanchez, D. T., & Gaither, S. E. (2018). Identity denied: Comparing bicultural and biracial dual identities and psychological health outcomes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45, 416-430. doi: 10.1177.0146167218788553

Babbitt, L. G., Gaither, S. E., Toosi, N. R., & Sommers, S. R. (2018). The role of gender in racial meta-stereotypes and stereotypes. Social Cognition36, 589-601.

Pauker, K., Meyers, C., Sanchez, D. T., Gaither, S. E., & Young, D. M. (2018).  A review of the multiracial malleability: Identity, categorization, and shifting racial attitudes. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 1-15. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12392

Albuja, A. F., Sanchez, D. T., & Gaither, S. E. (2018). Fluid racial presentation: Perceptions of contextual “passing” among biracial people. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 77, 132-142. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2018.04.010

Gaither, S. E. (2018). The multiplicity of belonging: Pushing identity research beyond binary thinking, Self and Identity, 17, 443-454. doi: 10.1080/15298868.2017.1412343

Gaither, S. E., Goldberg, A., Gidney, C, & Maddox, K.B. (2015). Sounding Black or White: Priming identity and biracial speech. Frontiers in Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 457. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00457

Gaither, S. E. (2015). “Mixed” results: Multiracial research and identity explorations. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 144-119. doi: 10.1177/0963721414558115

Gaither, S. E., Remedios, J. D., Sanchez, D. T., & Sommers, S. R. (2015). Thinking outside the box: Multiple identity mindsets affect creative problem solving. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6, 596-603. doi: 10.1177/1948550614568866SPPS.2015

Gaither, S. E., Remedios, J. D., Schultz, J. R., & Sommers, S. R. (2015). Priming White identity elicits stereotype boost for biracial Black/White individuals. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 18, 778-787. doi: 10.1177/1368430215570504

Howell, J., Gaither, S. E., Ratliff, K. A. (2014). Caught in the middle: Defensive responses to IAT feedback among Whites, Blacks, and Biracial Black/Whites. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6, 373-381.

Gaither, S. E., Chen, E., Corriveau, K., Harris, P., Ambady, N., & Sommers, S. R. (2014). Monoracial and biracial children: Effects of racial identity saliency on social learning and social preferences. Child Development, 85, 2299-2316.

Gaither, S. E., Wilton, L., Young, D. (2013). Perceiving a presidency in Black (and White): Four years later. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, Special Issue: The Social Psychology of the 2012 US Presidential Election, 14, 7-21. doi: 10.1111/asap.12018