The Role of Gender in the Racial and Ethnic Socialization of African American Adolescents

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Scholars in the field of African American family studies recognize the influence of gender on socialization. However, few studies investigate how gender influences the racial and ethnic socialization of African American youth. To examine the role of gender (both caregiver and adolescent) in socialization practices, data were obtained from 218 African American adolescents attending a public high school in the northeastern United States. Participants reported on the socialization messages provided by their caregivers by completing the Adolescent Racial and Ethnic Socialization Scale (ARESS). The ARESS is a newly developed measure of racial socialization and ethnic socialization, which assesses these constructs as distinct multidimensional processes. A series of ANCOVAs revealed that male and female caregivers differ in their approaches to racial and ethnic socialization. Findings suggest that caregivers engage in more socialization with female adolescents and raise questions about how gender differences may be related to African American youth development.



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