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Title:Socializing race: Parental beliefs and practices in two African American families
Author(s):Bracey, Jeana R.
Director of Research:Miller, Peggy J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Miller, Peggy J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Aber, Mark S.; Allen, Nicole E.; Ramirez Garcia, Jorge I.; Carter-Black, Janet
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Racial socialization
African American parenting
Abstract:Racial socialization is a complex family process associated with important child outcomes such as positive identity development, healthy self-esteem, academic achievement, and overall adjustment (Coard, Wallace, Stevenson, & Brotman, 2004). Despite the importance of racial socialization in the developmental process—particularly for African American children—little empirical research exists which examines early socialization with young children. In addition, few studies to date have incorporated qualitative or ethnographic methods for in-depth description and analysis of the process of racial socialization in daily life. This longitudinal ethnographic study of young African American children and their families was designed to address these gaps in the existing socialization and parenting literatures by examining the racial socialization process through parental beliefs and practices in their everyday lives. In this study, two African American families participated in a total of 11 interviews and 63 home observations over the course of a six year period, beginning when the focal child in each family was 3 ½ years of age. Data were coded for themes relevant to four domains of racial socialization, including: general references to race, academic achievement, religion/spirituality, and appearance/style. Observed references to racial socialization were divided into three categories, including: routine or everyday activities, specific observed references to race and the related domains, and indirect socialization practices that occurred in the context of adult conversations with the child observing. Data analysis supported academic achievement and religion/spirituality as important contexts for development, as consistent with previous research (e.g., Boykin & Toms, 1985; Carter, Black, 2005; Coard, Wallace, Stevenson, & Brotman, 2004; Marshall, 1995; Peters, 1985; Thornton et al., 1990), and also indicated the importance of personal style and appearance as an additional domain of particular importance for young African American children. These findings highlight the subtleties of the socialization process and have implications for examining socialization in the context of everyday family interactions as well as religious and educational contexts for young children in a manner that distinguishes implicit and explicit beliefs and practices.
Issue Date:2011-01-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Jeana R. Bracey
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-01-14
Date Deposited:December 2

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