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11-01-2021 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2021

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2021

Family Closeness and Mentor Formation among Black Youth

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2021
Auteurs:
Janelle T. Billingsley, Ariana J. Rivens, Noelle M. Hurd
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Abstract

The current study examined how primary caregivers’ close relationships with adult relatives may have influenced their adolescent children’s formation of familial mentoring relationships. Using survey data from 216 Black American youth (59% girls), quantitative findings indicated that when primary caregivers had more really close relationships with adult relatives, their children also reported more really close relationships with adult relatives. In turn, having more really close relationships with adult kin was associated with youth having a familial mentor. Interviews were conducted with a subsample of 24 youth, along with their primary caregiver, and an additional adult family member (72 interviews in total). Qualitative analyses were conducted to better understand how primary caregivers may facilitate relationships between their children and adult relatives. Qualitative findings indicated that primary caregivers both directly and indirectly facilitated these relationships by modeling relational closeness and permitting interactions among their children and adult relatives. Importantly, qualitative findings also highlighted the role of youth agency in creating and maintaining close intergenerational bonds. Overall, findings suggest that primary caregivers may play an influential role in shaping the nature of their children’s relationships with adult relatives. Moreover, findings suggest that youth who lack close ties with adult relatives may benefit from intentional efforts by their primary caregivers to facilitate these relationships.

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