Perceived Racial Discrimination and Racial Identity Profiles Among African American Adolescents

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The present study examined the relation between multiple types of racial discrimination and psychological well-being across racial identity profiles. A sample of 322 African American adolescents completed measures of racial identity, racial discrimination, self-esteem and depressive symptoms. Cluster analyses were conducted to create previously identified racial identity profiles and 3 were evident: Buffering/Defensive, Alienated, and Idealized. The racial identity profiles moderated the relation between perceptions of racial discrimination and psychological well-being such that perceptions of racial discrimination were linked to higher levels of depressive symptoms for Alienated youth but not for Buffering/Defensive or Idealized youth. The implications for the racial discrimination literature among African American adolescents are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • adolescents
  • African Americans/Blacks
  • racial discrimination
  • racial identity
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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