The fastest growing ethnic group in Britain is still being treated as if it is only integrated into black culture, says report
Children of mixed race are at greater risk of suffering from mental healthproblems and are not getting the support they need, says a report.
Despite mixed-race children belonging to the fastest-growing ethnic group, the research, backed by the National Children’s Bureau, found that they faced “unrealistic” expectations from teachers and other adults who did not understand their backgrounds.
While mixed-race young people are over represented in the care, youth justice and child protection systems, the authors said they were “invisible” in public service practice and policy.
The report – Mixed Experiences – growing up mixed race: mental health and wellbeing – drew on several studies and interviews with 21 people about their experiences as children.
Co-author Dinah Morley was concerned at the lack of understanding over what it meant to be mixed race, a group most likely to suffer racism. “I was surprised at how much racism, from black and white people, had come their way,” she said. “A lot of children were seen as black when they might be being raised by a white single parent and had no understanding of the black culture. The default position for a child of mixed race is that they are black.”
The report found that those with mixed-race backgrounds were more at risk of mental health issues because of their struggle to develop an identity. Morley said the strongest common experience was the “too white to be black, too black to be white”.
The 2011 census showed that the mixed-race population was the fastest growing ethnic group in Britain, amounting to 2.2% of the population of England and Wales.
In 2012, research by the thinktank British Future found that prejudice towards mixed-race relationships was fading. The report, The Melting Pot Generation – How Britain Became More Relaxed About Race, talked about the “Jessica Ennis generation”, crediting the London Olympics 2012 athlete with changing attitudes towards mixed race. “That positive role model is also seen as something very important,” said Morley.
Source: The Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/23/mixed-race-children-mental-health
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