Notes on Berekel (2009) - J Youth Adolescence(2009 38:175188 DOI 10.1007\/s10964-008-9346-z EMPIRICAL RESEARCH It Takes a Village Protecting Rural

Notes on Berekel (2009) - J Youth Adolescence(2009...

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EMPIRICAL RESEARCH It Takes a Village: Protecting Rural African American Youth in the Context of Racism Cady Berkel Æ Velma McBride Murry Æ Tera R. Hurt Æ Yi-fu Chen Æ Gene H. Brody Æ Ronald L. Simons Æ Carolyn Cutrona Æ Frederick X. Gibbons Received: 9 July 2008 / Accepted: 9 September 2008 / Published online: 23 September 2008 Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008 Abstract Prior research demonstrates negative conse- quences of racism, however, little is known about community, parenting, and intrapersonal mechanisms that protect youth. Using a mixed-methods approach, this study illuminated linkages between positive and negative contex- tual influences on rural African American adolescent outcomes. Quantitative results provide support for Structural Ecosystems Theory, in that the influence of discrimination and collective socialization on adolescent outcomes was mediated by racial socialization and positive parenting. Parenting and community influences contributed to adoles- cent racial identity and self image, which protected against common negative responses to racism; including academic underachievement, succumbing to peer pressure, and aggressive tendencies. Qualitative results indicate that cur- rent measures of discrimination may underestimate adolescents’ experiences. Adolescents reported racist expe- riences in the domains of school, peers, and with the police (males only). Moreover, qualitative findings echoed and expanded quantitative results with respect to the importance of the protective nature of parents and communities. Keywords African American Á Adolescents Á Gender differences Á Rural Á Racism Á Racial socialization Á Parenting Á Racial identity Á Community influences Á SEM Á Focus groups Á Mixed methods Introduction Racism remains a major challenge confronting African American families and constitutes a primary source of family stress (Murry et al. 2001 ; Peters and Massey 1983 ). Personal experience with discrimination has been linked to elevated rates of deviant peer affiliation, violence, anger, and mental health problems in African American adoles- cents (Brody et al. 2006 ; Wong et al. 2003 ). These disparities have stimulated scientific inquiry into the ways in which families contend with the pressures associated with racism (McAdoo 1995 ; Peters and Massey 1983 ), with specific emphasis on the protective nature of racial sociali- zation (i.e., parenting practices that teach children to value their race, while alerting them to the bias they will likely face) in preparing African American youth to live in a society that frequently devalues them and their families (Coard et al. 2004 ). Despite a growing number of studies on racial socialization and youth development, social scientists still know little about the mechanisms and contextual pro- cesses that facilitate parenting practices that buffer African C. Berkel ( & ) Prevention Research Center, Arizona State University, 900 S McAllister Ave, Tempe, AZ 85287-6005, USA e-mail: [email protected] V. M. Murry Human and Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University,

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