Racial Identity Attitude Scale (RIAS)

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The Racial Identity Attitude Scales, or RIAS, were developed as a self-report method to evaluate the types of attitude in the four phases of Cross’ model of Nigrescence.

The test requires subject response to 50 items using a 5-point Likert Scale and then the scores of each subscale are added together. The four subscales are: Pre-encounter, Encounter, Immersion, and Internalization. There exists the general scale for all races and there are more specific scales towards a certain race.


Helms & Parham, 1981

Validity and Reliability

0.76 (Pre-encounter), 0.72 (Encounter), 0.69 (Immersion), and 0.80 (Internalization) are estimated the internal consistency ratings by Parham and Helms using a sample of 400 students to average scores and obtain their data.

Where to Purchase

Boston College

Administration, Analysis and Reporting

Statistics Solutions consists of a team of professional methodologists and statisticians that can assist the student or professional researcher in administering the survey instrument, collecting the data, conducting the analyses and explaining the results.

For additional information on these services, click here.


Carter, R.T. (1991). Racial attitudes and psychological functioning. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 19, 105 - 113.

Cross, W.E. (1995). In search of Blackness and Afrocentricity. In H.W. Harris, H.C. Blue & E.E.H. Griffith (Eds.), Racial and Ethnic Identity: Psychological Development and Creative Expression (pp. 3-72). New York: Routledge.

Parham T.A., & Helms J.E. (1985b). Relation of racial identity attitudes to self actualization and affective states of black students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 32, 431-44

Parham, T. A. (1989). Cycles of psychological nigrescence. The Counseling Psychologist, 17 (2), 187-226

Weeks, C., Ollendick, T. (1997/November) Racial identity development as a predictor of social anxiety in African Americans. Paper presented at the sixth annual Virginia Beach conference.