Methods: The RICS data was collected as part of a larger Colorism Study, an anonymous online survey of a multicultural sample of (N = 434) adults aged 18 years and older. This study examined individual differences in self-ratings of skin tone and hair type and a variety of psychosocial outcomes. The Visual Inventory for Skin Tone Assessment (“color bar”) is composed of 10 skin tones ranging from light tan to dark brown. The self-rating of hair types used a 9-point rating scale ranging from straight to very curly. The other standardized measures included colorism, racial coping, and skin tone satisfaction. The parents in the sample also completed the Parental Acceptance or Rejection of Children Questionnaire (PARQ) measure. The new RICS scale investigates a parent’s recognition of the socioemotional impact messages of colorism has on children’s wellbeing. Participants were asked to rate how much they agree or disagree with 15 statements regarding the impact of colorism on children (strongly disagree, disagree, undecided/unsure, agree, and strongly agree). Jamovi, an open-source data software program, was used to conduct the analysis.
Results: The items from the RICS scale were originally composed of three factors; impact of messages of colorism on children, hierarchy of skin tones, and skin tone satisfaction. An Exploratory Factor Analysis identified only two distinct factors (impact and satisfaction). The satisfaction factor consisted of four items with acceptable reliability (α=0.66). The impact factor consisted of six items with acceptable reliability (α=0.57). The five items that did not load onto either factor were excluded.
Conclusion: The unconditional acceptance of children by parents is a foundational factor in children’s healthy development. These findings suggest the RICS scale is a reliable quantitative measure of adults’ recognition of the impact of colorism on children. The newy developed scale provides insight for social work practitioners on the impact colorism has on children and adults. Future research includes conducting a Confirmatory Factor Analysis with a sample of parents representing a broader range of demographic factors and parental stressors.