The influence of cultural and racial identification on the psychosocial adjustment of inner-city African American children in school

Duane E. Thomas, Tiffany G. Townsend, Faye Z. Belgrave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship and combined influence of racial identity and Africentric values on African American children's psychosocial adjustment. Participants were 104 (53 males, 51 females) African American fourth-grade students attending an inner-city public school in a northeastern city. Child and teacher ratings were used to assess the relationship between racial identity, Africentric values, and several indices of child psychosocial adjustment, including child behavior control, school interest, and teacher perceptions of child strengths and problems in the classroom. Child self-esteem and the effects of gender and cohort were used as covariates in several analyses in the study. Overall, findings from the study supported the usefulness of combining racial identity and Africentric values into a single model of ethnic identification for African American children. Implications for risk prevention and enhancement of psychosocial functioning among African American children are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • African American children
  • Ethnic identity
  • Psychosocial functioning
  • Racial identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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