Academic Commons

Theses Doctoral

Black Parents' Racial Socialization Practices and their Children's Educational Outcomes

White, Rashidah

The fields of psychology and education have a tumultuous history with regard to equity, social justice and compassion for marginalized populations, specifically for Black Americans. Access to quality education in the U.S. remains a barrier for many Black Americans while resources for high quality, culturally competent mental health services are also relatively limited (Anderson, Scrimshaw, Fullilove, Fielding & Normand, 2003; Hayes-Bautista, 2003). Fortunately, scholars and practitioners in education and psychology have sought to increase access to high quality, culturally competent education and psychology and have made important contributions to research and practice. Culturally competent pedagogy has been an area of research and practice for over 20 years leading to practical changes in teaching and education in support of the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students (Ladson-Billings, 1995). Similarly, multicultural and culturally competent counseling and psychotherapy has been of intensive focus by scholars and mental health practitioners, particularly counseling psychologist for many years (American Psychological Association, 2003; American Psychological Association, Association, 1993; Constatine & Sue, 2005; DeAngelis, 2015; Sue, Arredondo & McDavis, 1992; Sue, 1998). Psychologists and educators have been responsible for the development of racial-identity development models and the introduction and study of racial and ethnic socialization processes (Cross, 1978; Helms, 1984; Hughes, Stevenson, Cameron, Herrero-Taylor & Davis, 2002; Peters & Massey, 1983; Rodriguez, Smith, Johnson, Stevenson & Spicer, 2006; Tatum, 1987;). Preparation for bias, cultural pride reinforcement, promotion of mistrust, and egalitarianism or silence about race and racism are some of the most common forms of racial socialization practices employed by Black American parents. These practices are used in effort to prepare Black children to navigate and thrive in a society in which they are discriminated against on the basis of race. Racial socialization messages also serve to counteract negative messages from the larger society from various sectors and institutions including education and health systems (Gaskin, 2015). As such, the purpose of this study was to explore Black American parents’ racial socialization practices and the impact of the experiences and educational outcomes of their children who attend private, independent schools. Data was collected through 12 semi-structured interviews with Black American parents whose children attend private, independent schools. Participants’ narratives were transcribed and then analyzed using Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR). Results illustrated the participants’ experiences in school themselves, messages from family members on race, ethnicity and education. Participants also discussed their own parenting practices including racial socialization practices, messages and beliefs about education and schooling. Implications of the findings, limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Counseling Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Smith, Laura
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 6, 2019