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01-01-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 1/2007

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 1/2007

Perceived Support and Internalizing Symptoms in African American Adolescents: Self-Esteem and Ethnic Identity as Mediators

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 1/2007
Auteurs:
Noni K. Gaylord-Harden, Brian L. Ragsdale, Jelani Mandara, Maryse H. Richards, Anne C. Petersen
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology, Loyola University Chicago. Received Ph.D. in Psychology from The University of Memphis. Current interests include coping and resilience in African American youth and the role of family characteristics in children and adolescents’ stress and coping processes.
Teaching Associate, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University. Received Ph.D. in Psychology from University of Rhode Island. Research interests include ethnic identity in African American youth and the effects of exposure to violence on well-being.
Assistant Professor, Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University. Received Ph.D. in Psychology from University of California, Riverside. Primary research examines the nature and effects of socialization, father’s involvement, and how they interact with gender, race, and SES to impact youths’ academic and social development.
Professor, Clinical and Developmental Psychology, Loyola University Chicago. Received Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Chicago. Current research interests include the developmental stage of adolescence with a focus on the daily experience of urban African American young adolescents and how this relates to their psycho- social well being. Dr. Richards served as a Predoctoral Adolescent Fellow (1979–1981) and Postdoctoral Adolescent Fellow (1984–1985) at the Clinical Research Training Program in Adolescence in Chicago, IL, which was co-directed by Dr. Daniel Offer., Loyola University Chicago, 6525 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL, 60626 USA
Visiting Professor, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs; President, University of Minnesota and Global Philanthropy Alliance. Received Ph.D. in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis from the University of Chicago. Research interest is in adolescent development. Dr. Petersen served as Coordinator of the Clinical Research Training Program in Adolescence (1978–1982) and Associate Director (1976–80) and Director (1980–82) of the Laboratory for the Study of Adolescence at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center (Chicago, IL) where Dr. Daniel Offer served as Director of the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Petersen and Dr. Offer collaborated on numerous research papers while working together at Michael Reese Hospital., University of Minnesota and Global Philanthropy Alliance USA

Abstract

Existing research leaves a gap in explaining why African American adolescents do not exhibit more anxiety and depression than other youth, at the same time that they experience more contextual risk factors. The current study examined the roles of social support as well as possible mediators self-esteem and ethnic identity (sense of belonging to one’s ethnic group) in reducing internalizing symptoms in 227 African American adolescents (mean age = 12.55). Structural equation models indicated that self-esteem and ethnic identity partially mediated the relation between social support and depression. For depression, ethnic identity accounted for more of the social support effect for males, whereas self-esteem had more impact for females. The mediation model for anxiety was supported in females, with self-esteem more important than ethnic identity. The results suggest that ethnic identity and self-esteem function as important links in how social support reduces internalizing symptoms in African American youth.

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