Parental Ethnic-Racial Socialization Practices and the Construction of Children of Color's Ethnic-Racial Identity: A Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis

Psychol Bull. 2019 May;145(5):437-458. doi: 10.1037/bul0000187. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Abstract

Parental ethnic-racial socialization practices help shape the development of a strong ethnic-racial identity in children of color, which in turn contributes positively to mental health, social, and academic outcomes. Although there is a wide body of literature on the relationship between these meta-constructs, this research has not been systematically examined to either (a) determine the degree to which associations between parental ethnic-racial socialization approaches and ethnic-racial identity dimensions hold actual practical significance for parents of color or (b) estimate how these associations vary as a function of theorized mitigating factors. In response, this meta-analytic study investigated the strength of the association between parental ethnic-racial socialization practices and the construction of ethnic-racial identity, as well as factors that moderated the strength and direction of this association. Findings revealed that across 68 studies, there was a significant and substantive relationship between the global constructs of ethnic-racial socialization practices and ethnic-racial identity. Most individual practices of ethnic-racial socialization were positively associated with global ethnic-racial identity, and the strongest relationship was with pride and heritage socialization. Parental ethnic-racial socialization was also positively associated with all ethnic-racial identity dimensions tested except for public regard, with which it was negatively associated. Developmental findings showed that although ethnic-racial socialization positively predicted identity at every level of schooling, the strongest relationship was at the high school level. Finally, the association between ethnic-racial socialization and ethnic-racial identity was positive for African Americans, Latinxs, and Asian Americans alike, but the strongest relationship was among Latinxs. Implications for parenting practices and future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Continental Population Groups / psychology*
  • Ethnic Groups / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Social Identification*
  • Socialization*