Validating the cross racial identity scale


The purpose of this article is to explore the racial identity development of African Americans with disabilities.Cross' (1971, 1978) model of racial identity development for African Americans, along with Parham's (1989) revisions of the model, will serve as the foundation for the discussion.A brief historical perspective on racial identity theory will be offered.Also, the interplay between disability and racial identity will be examined.The notion that racial identity development is the same for all African Americans, regardless of disability, is difficult to endorse due to the large psychosocial impact that a disability can have on an individual's life (Wright, 1983).



Furthermore, the lack of attention in the literature devoted to the racial identity development of African Americans with disabilities seems to imply that racial identity development is the same for both disabled and nondisabled African Americans.Thus, racial identity development can be a crucial aspect of personality development for African Americans.As noted by Helms (1990), intrinsic to racial identity is the belief that individuals need an appreciation of group identification in order to maintain a healthy sense of personal identity.Conventional wisdom in much of the educational and psychological literatures states that the ethnic and racial identity of African American students is related to their academic achievement.