Do Biracial People Have More Mental Problems?

It seems to me that a person who is ethnically mixed might endure more problems while growing up (such as having “identity” issues or difficulties fitting in with their peer group) and that this might put them at elevated risk for developing psychiatric problems. Is there any evidence to support the notion that biracial/multiracial people are more likely to suffer from psychological disorders?

If so, do these problems persist into adulthood? Do we know that these problems stem from having a more difficult childhood?


You could just as easily make the case that biracial kids are more likely to come from parents who are more self-confident and/or have a stronger love for each other than single race couples given their willingness/ability to withstand societal criticism. Add on the averaging of disparate genes making for relatively more attractive faces and you’ve got a recipe for happiness.

There are some problems gathering accurate statistics in this area since minorities are less likely to consult with mental health professionals and receive treatment for mental health disorders (cite which discusses African Americans specifically). However, this report from the Surgeon General suggests:

“Biracial/multiracial” is an even harder demographic to pin down because many people who fall into this category still end up identifying with one group or another when surveyed, but if they are identifying as anything other than white, then they would fall into the “minority” category that this report examines.

And someone may be birracial (or rather bi-cultural) in one place but viewed as monorracial in another. I’m Hispanic in the US, but Navarrese-Catalan in Spain and PTV-Catalan in Navarra. A Hutu-Tutsi or Croat-Serbian who migrated elsewhere would suddenly find himself relabeled “african-american” or “subsaharian” in the first case, and “white” or “eastern european” or “yugoslavian” in the second.

This adds to the complexity of the statistics: is someone Irish-Italian-American birracial, or only if your parents were different “colors”? How far does skin shade have to go? What about when the genetic ancestry was the same but religions were different?

Make the required difference too wide or too narrow and it becomes completely meaningless.

PTV: “from Pamplona the whole life,” meaning my ancestors already lived in the area when the town was founded.