Does It Matter if You're Black or White? Skin Color and Psychological Well-being Among Middle-school Youth

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Title: Does It Matter if You're Black or White? Skin Color and Psychological Well-being Among Middle-school Youth
Author: Williams, Zaynah Ayisha
Advisors: Maxine Thompson, Committee Chair
Melvin Thomas, Committee Member
Michael Schwalbe, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to examine how dissatisfaction with skin color, as a component of perceived physical attractiveness, is associated with adolescent depression and self-esteem, controlling for skin color, beliefs toward skin color, gender, socioeconomic status, perceived discrimination, and peer and teacher stressors. Using a diverse sample of 388 middle-school students, I employ ordinary least squares regression to test hypotheses about the gender-specific and skin color specific effects of dissatisfaction with skin color on adolescent depression and self-esteem. The results show that dissatisfaction with skin color is positively related to depression and negatively related to self-esteem among adolescents. However, black or brown-skinned African American youth who are dissatisfied with their skin color experience higher levels of depression in comparison to white youth who are dissatisfied with their skin color. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Date: 2006-08-02
Degree: MS
Discipline: Sociology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/29


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