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Title:Racial socialization, achievement and socioemotional development among black children during the early years of schooling: the role of family, school, and neighborhood contexts
Author(s):Wilkins, Tamekia
Director of Research:Lleras, Christy
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lleras, Christy
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bost, Kelly; Jarrett, Robin L.; Neville, Helen A.
Department / Program:Human & Community Development
Discipline:Human & Community Development
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):racial socialization
academic achievement
socioemotional behavior
African American children
Abstract:Parents of racial/ethnic minority children often engage in racial socialization in an effort to ensure that they are able to cope in a society in which discrimination and inequalities persist. Of all the racial/ethnic groups, Black parents are the most likely to engage in this practice. To further our understanding of racial socialization in Black families, this study examined factors that shape whether parents engage and, in turn, its influence on student achievement and behavior during the first two years of formal schooling. In addition to examining child and family characteristics, this study also examined neighborhood and school contexts. The sample consists of 2,446 Black kindergarteners from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (restricted file), a national and longitudinal dataset that provides a representative sample of children in the U.S. Data from the ECLS-K was merged onto U.S. Census tract-level data (2000) in order to examine neighborhood conditions. Overall, results from the multivariate analysis indicate that Black children from higher socioeconomic backgrounds and those that live in less disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to receive racial socialization messages including discussions of racial heritage, religion and attendance at cultural events in kindergarten. Parents are more likely to engage in racial socialization with girls, except when the family lives in a disadvantaged neighborhood. However, they are more likely to engage with boys in more disadvantaged neighborhoods. Racial socialization also matters for students’ educational outcomes. Findings indicate that racial socialization is related to children’s reading and math achievement in kindergarten and first grade. Additionally, children whose parents engage in racial socialization have fewer internalizing behavior problems and better approaches to learning and interpersonal behaviors. Implications for further research are discussed.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Tamekia Wilkins
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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