Racial/Ethnic Socialization

Parents and children each completed a measure of racial/ethnic socialization, with parents reporting how often they sent 10 different racial/ethnic socialization messages to their children and children reporting how often they received the same 10 racial/ethnic socialization messages from their parents. Both parents and children replied to each item using a 3-point Likert scale ranging from never send/receive the message to often send/receive the message.

Based on the racial/ethnic socialization measure created by Hughes and colleagues (Hughes & Chen, 1997; Hughes & Johnson, 2001; Hughes, 2003), the scale was constructed to assess dimensions of racial/ethnic socialization that have been identified in prior literature, including: an emphasis on equality of all racial/ethnic groups (egalitarianism), racial/ethnic pride (cultural socialization) and preparation for racial/ethnic related bias (preparation for bias). As noted earlier, we did not include items to assess promotion of mistrust independent of preparation for bias. Two of the original 10 items were not included in the subsequent analyses, as preliminary data exploration showed they were problematic for various reasons. One item, intended to capture an aspect of racial/ethnic pride, asked specifically how often parents emphasized the use of their native language at home. However, this item clearly was not applicable to many families in the sample and moreover appeared to reflect parents' own language skills rather than their desire to instill cultural knowledge and pride in their children. In addition, an item asking specifically about socializing children to feel American was excluded because parents seemed to interpret it in different ways, many of which did not reflect an emphasis on egalitarianism as we had intended.

The final set of items included 3 items that assess egalitarianism (e.g., "How often have you told your child/have your parents told you.. .People are all equal, no matter what the color of their skin or where they come from."), 2 items that assess cultural socialization (e.g., How often have you told your child/have your parents told you "You should be proud to be [insert racial/ethnic group]."), and 3 items that assess preparation for bias (e.g., How often have you told your child/have your parents told you [racial/ethnic group] people are more likely to be treated unfairly or poorly than are other people."). Several issues merit attention in this regard. First, although Egalitarianism and Cultural Socialization are conceptually distinct, they were not empirically distinct in the present sample, as revealed by a principal axes factor analysis. Notably, Hughes (2003) also found Egalitarianism and Cultural Socialization were indistinguishable empirically in a sample of urban African American and Latino adults. It seems likely that these theoretically distinct messages co-occur within individuals because the large majority of parents report each of them. Second, we had an insufficient number of items to distinguish preparation for bias from promotion of mistrust (only three items assessed discussions of unfair treatment or opportunity), which is unfortunate since misinterpretation may be most likely in this realm. Nevertheless, based on the results of principal axes factor analysis, we retained measures that assessed two dimensions of racial/ethnic socialization: egalitarianism/cultural socialization (a = .75 for parents and .74 for children) and preparation for bias (a = .72 for parents .43 for children3). It is important to note that for the White European American sample we were only able to analyze responses to the three items that assessed egalitarianism4 (a = .77 for parents; 78 for children).

Ethnic Identity Evaluation and Racial/Ethnic Activity Involvement

Two additional measures were analyzed along with the measures of racial/ethnic socialization. First, we were interested in exploring the extent to which parents' reports about their racial/ethnic socialization practices were associated with children's racial/ethnic outcomes, independent of children's perceptions of those messages. Therefore, we asked children three questions intended to assess their evaluation of their own racial/ethnic identity, following the format utilized by Harter to assess other aspects of children's self concept (e.g., "Some kids are happy that they are Russian but other kids are not happy that they are Russian. Are you more like children that are happy that they are Russian or are you more like children who are not happy that they are Russian? Is this really true or sort of true?"). Items were rated on a 4-point scale (a = .73). We were also interested in exploring the extent to which parents' reports about their ethnic behaviors influenced children (in terms of both their racial/ethnic identity evaluation and in terms of their perceptions of racial/ethnic socialization messages) independent of parents' reported racial/ethnic socialization messages. Thus, we asked parents a single item about their celebration of holidays and festivals related to their countries of origin. Unfortunately, this item was not asked of the White European American sample or of the Black American sample.

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