Friday, December 28, 2012

Can Instilling Racial Pride In Black Teens Lead To Better Educational Outcomes?

African American adolescents tend to have more success in school if their parents instill in them a sense of racial pride, reducing their vulnerability to the effects of racial discrimination from teachers and peers. 
This is the conclusion of a University of Pittsburgh study published this fall in the journal Child Development. Titled "Parental Racial Socialization as a Moderator of the Effects of Racial Discrimination on Educational Success Among African American Adolescents," the research article shows that when African American parents use racial socialization - talking to their children or engaging in activities that promote feelings of racial knowledge, pride, and connection - it offsets racial discrimination's potentially negative impact on students' academic development. 
Preparing the adolescents for possible bias was also a protective factor, though a combination of this preparation and racial socialization was found to be ideal in moderating the possible damaging effects of racial discrimination by teachers or fellow students. The Pitt study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. 
"Our findings challenge the notion that 'race blindness' is a universally ideal parenting approach, especially since previous research has shown that racially conscious parenting strategies at either extreme - either 'race blindness' or promoting mistrust of other races - are associated with negative outcomes for African American youth," said lead author Ming-Te Wang, Pitt assistant professor of psychology in education, who coauthored the study with Harvard's James P. Huguley. 
"When African American parents instill a proud, informed, and sober perspective of race in their sons and daughters, these children are more likely to experience increased academic success," said Wang. 

Yes! obviously! And not just African American teens, but all children of color. So pleased to see that studies prove what I've been saying forever. Invite me to come speak for your parents', school, or community group on Raising our Children with Culture(s) and Pride--Practical Strategies, Preparing our Children for Racism, APA Girl Power! Let's start the new year proactively!

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