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Examination of a Measure of Racial Discrimination Among African American Adolescents


  • Eleanor K. Seaton

    1. Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
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    • 2Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Eleanor K. Seaton, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson Street, Ann Arbor MI 48106. E-mail:

  • 1Preparation of this article was supported by a fellowship to the author through a National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Training Grant (NIMH 5T32 MH 067555-02).


The present study consisted of an empirical examination of the psychometric properties of the Index of Race-Related Stress (IRRS) among 258 African American adolescents. Confirmatory factor analyses supported a 3-component model (i.e., individual, collective/institutional, and cultural) of racial discrimination perceived by African American adolescents. The revised subscales of the IRRS were associated with another measure of racial discrimination as evidence of concurrent validity, and the subscales of the IRRS demonstrated adequate reliability. The results are consistent with previous research indicating that adolescent responses to perceived racial discrimination are distinct from adults'. Future research should consider the assessment of racial discrimination among African American adolescents to understand the relationship between perceptions of racial discrimination and indexes of mental and physical health.