A developmental assumption of racial/ethnic identity is the benefits of being prepared for discrimination (Quintana, 2007). Racially stigmatized youth need to develop an awareness and understanding of the racial discrimination they will experience. In short, the argument is that youth need to develop not only a positive group orientation but also the resources to buffer against racial-ethnic discrimination (Quintana, 2007). Under certain circumstances, there are disadvantages to adolescents developing a strong connection to their racial-ethnic group. These circumstances are associated with contexts in which there is high exposure to discrimination (Quintana, 2007).

The above assumption may impact working with children/adolescents when the child/adolescent has just come to accept that being discriminated against is their norm. They have been raised to expect discrimination and it has been instilled in them as to why they will be discriminated against. This assumption of preparing for discrimination can lead to so many other issues for the child/adolescent, such as low self esteem, depression, and possibly a hatred for their own race (Derman-Sparks, 2010). The key to being a positive figure and change in a child/adolescents life is to let them know that no matter their situation, ethnicity, race, or diversity, they are special and unique. How we do this is to allow them to be who they are and express all of their positive uniqueness. As stated in the video, most teacher/counselors tend to not want to see color in their students…but being “color blind” does not allow your to see the person and their issues (Laureate Education, 2014). I believe that this is due to the fact that every child/adolescent is going to be treated differently at some point due to their race/ethnicity and being “color blind” to that is almost as if the problem is being ignored. 


Quintana, S. M. (2007). Racial and ethnic identity: Developmental perspectives and research.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014). Racial and ethic identity [Video file].

Derman-Sparks, L. & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves

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