Growing Up African-American and Female: The Relationship Between Racial Socialization and Self-Esteem of African-AmericanFemale Adolescents.

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Title: Growing Up African-American and Female: The Relationship Between Racial Socialization and Self-Esteem of African-AmericanFemale Adolescents.
Author: Davis, Carmen R
Advisors: Marc Grimmett, Committee Member
Sylvia Nassar-McMillan, Committee Member
Stanley Baker, Committee Chair
Edwin Gerler, Committee Member
Abstract: DAVIS, CARMEN PYLES. Growing up African-American and Female: The Relationship Between Racial Socialization and Self-esteem of African-American Female Adolescents. (Under the direction of Dr. Stanley B. Baker.) Dominant discourse in American society has posed a problem for minority populations because social and identity constructs, such as race, gender, and class, have created a society that has not been fair for less dominant groups. Growing up in the United States as an African-American female adolescent poses particular challenges because these girls contend with typical pre-adolescent and adolescent developmental tasks along with how to negotiate their multiple identities (i.e., being Black and female). For these reasons, developmental issues for African-American adolescent girls are best understood using a multiple-lens paradigm inclusive of gender, race, ethnicity, and social class. Across disciplines, most empirical studies of African-American adolescent girls have emphasized at-risk themes, frequently neglecting normative developmental concerns. The present study explored African-American female adolescents across three socioeconomic (SES) groups to learn how girls from different backgrounds respond to racial socialization as it relates to self-esteem. Ninety-five African-American girls completed questionnaires related to SES, racial socialization experiences, and self-esteem. Correlational (Pearson product-moment) and comparison (ANOVA) statistics indicated no significant relationships between racial socialization and self-esteem, racial socialization and SES, or self-esteem and SES. A significant difference was found in racial socialization frequency scores for the middle SES group compared to the high SES group. Significant differences were also found in racial socialization agreement where the high SES group had lower scores than the low and middle SES group. The finding that more than 85% of the participants in all three SES groups had higher than average self-esteem scores supports those of prior studies that African-American girls do not experience the same declines in self-esteem during adolescence as do girls from other racial/cultural groups. This research adds to existing literature about this population and may assist counseling professionals and others in understanding the normative development of African-American female adolescents and how race, gender, and socioeconomics play a part in this development.
Date: 2008-10-20
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Counselor Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4649


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