Cultural Socialization and Ethnic-Racial Identity Mediated by Positive and Negative Conversations about Race: Exploring Differences among Asian American, African American, Latinx, Multiracial, and White Students

Maria J. Elias, Eryn N. DeLaney, Chelsea Derlan Williams, Sabrina Hawa, Chloe J. Walker, Fantasy T. Lozada, Jinni Su, the Spit for Science Working Group, Danielle M. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current study examined associations between cultural socialization and ethnic-racial identity via positive and negative conversations about one’s ethnicity/race. Ethnic-racial differences between Asian American, African American, Latinx, Multiracial, and White students were explored. College students 18–22 (M age = 18.46) participating in a university-wide study provided self-reports of childhood cultural socialization, engagement in conversations about ethnicity/race during college, and ethnic-racial identity. Cultural socialization was associated with more positive conversations about race, and, in turn, greater ethnic-racial identity exploration, resolution, and affirmation among all students. Additionally, among Multiracial and African American students, cultural socialization was associated with greater negative conversations about race and, in turn, less ethnic-racial identity affirmation. Although cultural socialization was not associated with negative conversations about race for Asian American, Latinx, or White students, the relation between greater negative conversations about race and less ethnic-racial identity affirmation was significant. Negative conversations about race also informed greater ethnic-racial identity exploration among all students, but was not associated with ethnic-racial identity resolution. The current study highlights the nuanced ways that childhood cultural socialization and conversations about one’s ethnicity/race influence college students’ ethnic-racial identity, both similarly and differently among different racial groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIdentity
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • college students
  • conversations about ethnicity/race
  • Cultural socialization/ethnic-racial socialization
  • emerging adults
  • ethnic-racial identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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