Racial Socialization and the Academic Self-Esteem of African American Adolescents: Racial Private and Public Regard as Mediators?

Charity Lenae Brown, University of South Carolina


Though studies have indicated that racial socialization is associated with positive academic outcomes, the literature in this area has not yielded a consensus regarding this association. Thus, a better understanding of the mechanisms through which racial socialization operates is needed. With this in mind, the present study examines racial identity as a potential mediator. In particular, this investigation gives specific attention to the mediating roles of racial private and public regard in relationships between racial socialization and academic-specific self-esteem in two models. The sample was comprised of 229 African American adolescents (M =12.4; SD =1.04; 63% female). Findings indicated that private regard partially mediated the relationship between race pride socialization and academic self-esteem. However, public regard did not mediate the relationship between race barrier socialization and academic self-esteem. Overall, these results provide some insight into the mechanisms through which racial socialization messages may influence academic-related outcomes. Potential limitations of these results and future research directions are discussed.