Adolescents' Experiences of Discrimination and Parent-Adolescent Relationship Quality: The Moderating Roles of Sociocultural Processes.

Research paper by Elizabeth M EM Riina, Susan M SM McHale

Indexed on: 04 Sep '12Published on: 04 Sep '12Published in: Journal of family issues


Grounded in a cultural-ecological perspective, the goals of this study were to examine the implications of young adolescents' experiences of racial discrimination for the quality of relationships with mothers and fathers and to test whether sociocultural processes, such as youth ethnic identity and parents' racial socialization strategies, moderated these linkages. Participants were older and younger adolescents in 176 two-parent African American families who completed questionnaires about their discrimination experiences, ethnic identities, and warmth and conflict in their relationships with parents. Mothers and fathers reported on cultural socialization and preparation for bias practices. Consistent with an emotional spillover hypothesis, discrimination was linked to poorer relationship quality with both mothers and fathers. Youth ethnic identity and mothers' racial socialization moderated discrimination-relationship linkages. Findings were consistent with prior research on discrimination and highlight the protective nature of some sociocultural processes for family relationships.