Youth Identity Project Results

Click on the titles below to see conference presentations of some results from the Youth Identity Project.

Racial Socialization Messages Influence Later Self-Esteem for African American Youth

Elizabeth A. Adams, Beth E. Kurtz-Costes, Tanée M. Hudgens, Stephanie J. Rowley

Parents’ messages about racial pride were related to higher self-esteem in African American middle school students. Messages meant to prepare children for potential bias they may face due to their racial group membership improved self-esteem, but only when given in moderation; high amounts and low amounts of information about racial discrimination did not lead to increased self-esteem.

Educational Utility, Racial Socialization and Academic Motivation in African American Adolescents

Akilah Swinton, Beth Kurtz-Costes, Tanee Hudgens, and Lionel Howard

Children who strongly endorsed the belief that education is the key to success were more engaged at school according to teacher ratings of their classroom engagement. These students also received higher grades in school than students who had less positive beliefs about the value of education. Youth who reported that their parents provided many messages about racial pride (cultural socialization) and about racial discrimination (preparation for bias) had higher perceptions of the value of education than children whose parents used less racial socialization.

Race Differences in the Development of Academic Gender Stereotypes in Black and White Adolescents

Kristine E. Copping1, Beth Kurtz-Costes2, Dana Wood3, and Olivenne D. Skinner2

1Department of Psychology, Huntingdon College
2Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
3Department of Education, University of California, Los Angeles

In line with traditional gender stereotypes, White students were more likely to view that boys excel in math and science, and girls excel in English. Black students, on the other hand, viewed girls as excelling in all three subjects (math, English & science) compared to boys.

Race Centrality and Racial Socialization in African American Adolescents: Gender Differences in Identity Development

Tanée M. Hudgens1, Beth Kurtz-Costes1, Akilah Swinton1 and Stephanie J. Rowley2

1Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2Department of Psychology, University of Michigan

African American parents reported more messages regarding youth’s racial group membership–both messages promoting race pride and messages warning of potential prejudice–in middle school than in elementary school. The increase in these messages was related to youths’ enhanced feelings of closeness to their racial group.

Parents’ Perceptions of Youths’ Math Ability, Youths’ Self-Perceptions of Math Ability, and Youths’ Intentions to Pursue Coursework and Careers in Math: A Study of African American Families

Dana Wood1, Beth Kurtz-Costes2, Kristine Copping3, and Olivenne Skinner2

1UCLA Department of Education
2UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Psychology
3Huntingdon College Department of Psychology

African American youth and their parents completed surveys when youth were in Grades 5, 7, and 10. Regardless of students’ math achievement level, parents who perceived that their child was competent in math were found to have children who later reported feeling more competent in math. Youth who had higher perceptions of their math competence were more likely in Grade 10 to enroll in math courses and plan to pursue math-related careers. 

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