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Perceived Racial Discrimination and Self-Esteem in African American Youth: Racial Socialization as a Protective Factor

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Requests for reprints should be sent to Dr. April Harris-Britt, Department of Psychology, CB# 3270 Davie Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3270. E-mail: ahb@unc.edu

Abstract

Racial socialization was examined as a protective factor that might buffer African American youth from the negative effects of perceived racial discrimination. Two types of racial socialization were examined: messages about race pride and preparation for bias. One hundred twenty-eight eighth-grade African American students participated in the study. As anticipated, both types of socialization moderated the relationship between discrimination and self-esteem. The negative relationship between perceived discrimination and self-esteem was mitigated for youth who reported more messages about race pride and a moderate amount of preparation for bias from their parents. In contrast, low race pride socialization and both high and low preparation for bias were associated with a negative relationship between perceived discrimination and self-esteem.

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