Parents' ethnic-racial socialization practices: a review of research and directions for future study

Dev Psychol. 2006 Sep;42(5):747-70. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.42.5.747.


Recently, there has been an emergence of literature on the mechanisms through which parents transmit information, values, and perspectives about ethnicity and race to their children, commonly referred to as racial or ethnic socialization. This literature has sought to document the nature of such socialization, its antecedents in parents' and children's characteristics and experiences, and its consequences for children's well-being and development. In this article, the authors integrate and synthesize what is known about racial and ethnic socialization on the basis of current empirical research, examining studies concerning its nature and frequency; its child, parent, and ecological predictors; and its consequences for children's development, including ethnic identity, self-esteem, coping with discrimination, academic achievement, and psychosocial well-being. The authors also discuss conceptual and methodological limitations of the literature and suggest directions for future research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Child
  • Child Rearing / ethnology*
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Ethnicity / ethnology*
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Humans
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Social Identification*
  • Social Values / ethnology
  • Socialization*
  • United States