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Lead Researcher:
Iveth Estrada Reyes, BA
(University of California, Los Angeles, ivether@g.ucla.edu)

Other Researchers:

Aparajitha Suresh, MA (Stanford University, as622@stanford.edu

Andrew A. Gepty, MA (George Washington University, aagepty@gwu.edu

Farzana Saleem, PhD (Stanford University, fsaleem1@stanford.edu)

This project was selected and presented at the SRA (Society for Research on Adolescence) 2023 Biennial Meeting (National Conference), March 3-5 New Orleans.

Abstract

Racial stressors can have negative consequences on the self-esteem of youth of color (Seaton et al., 2010). Fortunately, culturally relevant practices such as ethnic-racial socialization (ERS) can foster positive development of self-esteem and adjustment in a racialized society (Constantine & Blackmon, 2002). One specific ERS strategy which has proved to be efficacious in protecting against the consequences of racial stressors is behavioral cultural socialization. This strategy goes beyond conveying verbal messages and entails exposure to activities and behaviors focused on learning about and instilling cultural pride specific to one’s ethnic-racial group (Neblett et al., 2008). The majority of ERS research to date focuses on the family context, however school is another critical source for ERS (Saleem & Byrd, 2021), especially during adolescence as youth strive to develop a secure sense of self and begin to value the opinions of those outside of their family (Aldana & Byrd, 2015). Thus, understanding behavioral cultural socialization from transmitters across the school and family context may enhance youth’s self-esteem. Therefore, this study investigated how behavioral cultural socialization messages provided by parents and teachers interact to influence the self-esteem of youth of color. Participants consisted of 137 African American  (N = 67) and Latinx (N=70) adolescents, attending urban public high schools in Los Angeles (grades 9-12). Findings revealed a positive direct effect of parental messages (β = 0.23, p < 0.05), but not teacher messages (β = -0.10, p > 0.05) on self-esteem when controlling for both race and gender. Additionally, there was a significant interaction between teacher and parent behavioral cultural socialization on self-esteem (β = 0.19, p < 0.05). Students who reported high behavioral cultural socialization from both parents and teachers reported significantly higher self-esteem than those with low behavioral cultural socialization from teachers. Thus, adolescents’ reported more self-esteem in the context of high teacher behavioral cultural socialization compared to high behavioral cultural socialization from parents alone. Implications and suggested practices for employing behavioral ERS across the school and family context will be discussed.

Listen to a study summary from the SRA 2023 Biennial Meeting presentation below.

Self-Esteem Among African American and Latinx Adolescents_EstradaReyesIveth Estrada Reyes
00:00 / 02:53

If you'd like to view a PowerPoint presentation version, click here.

Introduction

What inspired this project?

Racial stress and trauma are linked with lower self-esteem for minority youth, BUT culturally relevant practices like ethnic-racial socialization (ERS) have been shown to reduce the negative effects of discrimination and promote positive development.

One ERS strategy that can be beneficial is behavioral cultural socialization. This strategy goes beyond verbal messaging, and actively exposes minority youth to activities and media that allow them to learn and feel pride towards their own ethnic-racial group

Most studies focus on ERS in the family context, and less about school contexts even though schools are another critical source of socialization for youth. Therefore, this project focused on an ERS in school contexts. 

The current study examines: 

1. How teacher and parent behavioral cultural socialization are associated with self-esteem

2. How teacher and parent behavioral cultural socialization interact to influence the effect of self-esteem for African American (AA) and Latinx (LX) adolescents

Methods

The data were collected as part of a larger study on school ERS and racial stress at two large diverse high schools with a total of 134 students grades 9th-12th.

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LX Adolescents - 69 (41.5%)
AA Adolescents - 65 (48.5%)

Male - 61 (45.5%)
Female - 73 (54.5%)

Measures

Parental Behavioral Cultural Socialization:

Subscale of Teen Reported Parental Racial Socialization Questionnaire (P-RSQ) (Bañales, J. et al., 2019).

Likert Scale: 1 = Never, 2 = A Few Times, 3 = Lots of Times

Sample Item: “Bought you toys, games, or books from your race/ethnicity.”

Alpha α = .69

 

Teacher Behavioral Cultural Socialization:

Adapted Subscale of Teen Reported Teacher Racial Socialization Questionnaire (T-RSQ) (Lesane-Brown et al., 2005)

Likert Scale: 1 = Never, 2 = A Few Times, 3 = Lots of Times

Sample Item: “Taken students to cultural events (e.g., plays, movies, concerts, museums)
about your race/ethnicity.”

Alpha α = .77

 

Self-Esteem:

Rosenberg Self-Esteem (RSE) Scale (Rosenberg, 1965)

Likert Scale: 0 = strongly disagree, 1 = disagree, 2 = agree, 3 = strongly agree

Sample Item: “I feel that I am a person of worth, at least on an equal basis with others.”

Alpha α = .64

Findings

Table1.png

While Teacher Behavioral Cultural Socialization does not independently have a significant effect on youth self-esteem, Model 2 reveals that when both teachers and parents employ behavioral cultural socialization, there is a stronger positive impact on LX and AA youth self-esteem, than when parents alone do.

This Simple Slopes Analysis depicts the enhancing effect of teacher behavioral cultural socialization on the positive link between parental behavioral cultural socialization and youth self-esteem.

figure1.png

Summary

Q1

  • Significant positive effect of parental behavioral cultural socialization on youth self-esteem

  • No significant effect of teacher behavioral cultural socialization on youth self-esteem

Significant positive interaction effect of teacher behavioral cultural socialization and parental behavioral cultural socialization on youth self-esteem: high behavioral cultural socialization from both parents and teachers is linked to significantly higher self-esteem for AA and LX adolescents.

Q2

Conclusions & Implications

It is important to understand the effects of ERS in family and school contexts, both individually and across contexts, as this may have significant implications for minority youth self-esteem.

 

Given that youth spend ample time in school, it is essential to highlight the protective effects of socialization within classrooms, especially for AA and LX adolescents who have increased risk for exposure to racial stressors.

While there has been more research highlighting the importance of verbal ethnic-racial pride messages on youth of color, there has been less conceptual and empirical research on behavioral messages (Butler-Barnes et al., 2018).

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