This research was funded by Grant R01-MH57938 from the National Institute of Mental Health awarded to Maryse H. Richards. The authors acknowledge the contributions of the project directors, Cathy Flynn, and Phil Hammack, and the students, school administrators, teachers, and parents who volunteered their time to participate in this research.
The Effects of Changes in Racial Identity and Self-Esteem on Changes in African American Adolescents’ Mental Health
Article first published online: 12 NOV 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2009, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 80, Issue 6, pages 1660–1675, November/December 2009
How to Cite
Mandara, J., Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Richards, M. H. and Ragsdale, B. L. (2009), The Effects of Changes in Racial Identity and Self-Esteem on Changes in African American Adolescents’ Mental Health. Child Development, 80: 1660–1675. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01360.x
- Issue published online: 12 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 12 NOV 2009
This study assessed the unique effects of racial identity and self-esteem on 259 African American adolescents’ depressive and anxiety symptoms as they transitioned from the 7th to 8th grades (ages 12–14). Racial identity and self-esteem were strongly correlated with each other for males but not for females. For both males and females, an increase in racial identity over the 1 year was associated with a decrease in the prevalence of depressive symptoms over the same period, even with self-esteem controlled. It was concluded that racial identity may be as important as self-esteem to the mental health of African American adolescents, and it explains variance in their mental health not associated with feelings of oneself as an individual.