Studies have highlighted that, for African American men, race-related and sociodemographic contexts are inextricably bound and have profound effects across the life course. These context and related experiences, individually and collectively, are critical social determinants of their parenting practices. The current study examined African American fathers’ racial identity beliefs in relation to their ethnic-racial socialization practices. Further, this investigation examines this association within the context of sociodemographic factors (i.e., age; education level; residential status).
Data were collected from 174 African American fathers (M = 32.2; SD = 8.24; Range = 23–62 years of age) of adolescents (M = 12.6; SD = 2.20; Range = 8–18 years of age) residing in a mid-sized, urban city in the Southeastern region of the United States. Participants completed survey questionnaires regarding their parenting ideologies, sociocontextual experiences and parenting practices.
Regression analyses revealed that racial identity dimensions (centrality; public regard; private regard) and sociodemographic factors were directly associated with multiple ethnic-racial socialization domains. Also, the relationship between fathers’ perceptions of others’ views about African Americans (public regard) and ethnic-racial socialization was moderated by residential status.
Findings suggest that, African American fathers’ public regard beliefs, in combination with sociodemographic factors, shape race-related discussions with their children. Overall, results suggest that the public lens of fatherhood is further heightened by African American fathers’ sociodemographic landscape.