Racial discrimination and racial identity

We have explored the relationship between racial identity and several outcomes. A positive sense of racial identity helps protect African American youth against the negative effects of risk factors for negative outcomes. Racial identity also helps enhance positive youth development.

We found that:

  • A strong racial identity was associated with less psychological distress, less violent behavior, and greater academic achievement
  • Racial identity helps youth avoid the negative effects of discrimination on psychological distress
  • Racial identity is vital for adolescent resiliency in the face of risks for violent behavior
  • Neighborhood racial composition can influence mental health over time

An image of the racial identity findings info graphic

Related publications

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