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African-American Teens' Perceptions Of Racial Discrimination

Date:
April 29, 2009
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A three-year study of 14-18 year old African American teens finds that many African American teens consider themselves the victims of racial discrimination. These perceptions are linked to how the teens feel about being African American, particularly their views of how the broader society sees African Americans. These findings have implications for parents and teachers and also suggest the need to bolster African-American youths' feelings about their racial group membership.
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A three-year study of African American youths' perceptions of racial discrimination has found that many Black teens consider themselves victims of racial discrimination, and these perceptions are linked to how they feel about being Black, particularly their views of how the broader society sees African Americans.

The study, by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Fordham University, and the University of Michigan, can be found in the March/April 2009 issue of the journal Child Development.

In an attempt to further our understanding of racial identity among African Americans, the researchers studied more than 200 Black teens ages 14 to 18 who lived and went to school in racially heterogeneous parts of the midwestern United States. Based on the adolescents' responses to questions about racial group membership, the researchers found that age played a factor in the young people's perceptions: Older teens who had experienced more racial bias felt less positive about being Black. Teens who felt more racial discrimination were more likely to say that society viewed African Americans negatively.

"These findings have implications for parents, teachers, and adults who have regular contact with African American youth," says Eleanor K. Seaton, assistant professor in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the study. "They suggest the need to bolster African American youth's feelings about their racial group membership, especially feelings related to feeling positively about being African American."

The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (both of the National Institutes of Health), and by the National Science Foundation.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Society for Research in Child Development. "African-American Teens' Perceptions Of Racial Discrimination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090429091634.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2009, April 29). African-American Teens' Perceptions Of Racial Discrimination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090429091634.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "African-American Teens' Perceptions Of Racial Discrimination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090429091634.htm (accessed May 24, 2015).

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