Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Predictors of racial identification among whites

A question in the MIDUS Study shows that fewer than 10 percent of white Americans completely fail to identify with their race. Let's see which factors predict identifying closely with one's race among whites.

Standardized OLS Regression Coefficients (sample size = 3,499)

Age -.03
Female .10*
Education -.03
Church attendance .06*
Extraversion .05*
Agreeableness .04*
Negative emotionality .05*
Conscientiousness .05*
Openness to experience -.06*

* statistically significant

Except for age and education, all of the predictors are significantly related to identifying with one's race. These categories are associated with greater identification: females, churchgoers, those high on extraversion, agreeableness, negative emotionality, conscientiousness, and low on openness to experience. All of the relationships are weak.


  1. Anonymous1:28 PM

    What was the coefficient for maleness?

  2. The coefficient is for sex, but I wrote "female" to signal that it is the category with the higher score. (female = 2, male = 1)

  3. Anonymous8:46 PM

    Any ideas of what does predict racial identification among whites, if none of the data comes up with much?

  4. Ron: what's the R-squared for the model as a whole? I suspect this is one of those multifactorial things where each factor doesn't count much.

  5. It was low: less than .10. I'll keep looking for stronger predictors.


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