A validation of Helms' People of Color Racial Identity Attitude Scale with a Native American Population

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Bryant, Alfred, Jr. “A validation of Helms' People of Color Racial Identity Attitude Scale with a Native American Population.” Diss. North Carolina State University, 1998. 75pp.


Bryant administered Janet E. Helms's People of Color Racial Identity Attitude Scale (1995) (50 items; reproduced as Appendix E) to 150 Lumbee students aged 17-30 attending the University of North Carolina at Pembroke or North Carolina State University. His purpose was to determine its validity with Native Americans, since the scale was intended to be used with all U.S. people of color. The instrument consists of four subscales which measure the subject's racial identity attitude according to Helms's theory. The stages are Conformity/Preencounter; Dissonance; Immersion/Resistance; and Internalization. This study was the instrument's first analysis with a Native American population. Bryant's factor analysis found evidence of four factors, although the factor structure differed somewhat from those Helms proposed. Twenty-three questions did not load on any factor, and three loaded on factors different from those Helms proposed. Bryant deemed this “generally consistent.” The Cronbach alpha analysis found that the reliability coefficients for all four subscales were within the acceptable range. The majority of Lumbees sampled represented the Internalization subscale and possessed a positive Native American identity. The next highest scale represented in the sample was Dissonance, indicating that some in the sample felt a moderate amount of confusion and disorientation concerning race. Bryant cautions that because the sample size was small, the study's results have limited generalizability.

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