"Contextualizing Parent Socialization: Examining African-American Parents’ Strategies for Talent Development and Risk Minimization"
SRCD 2019 Biennial Conference
March 21-23, 2019
Title: Contextualizing Parent Socialization: Examining African-American Parents’ Strategies for Talent Development and Risk Minimization (Poster)
Session: Education, Schooling
Authors: Nestor Tulagan, Jacquelynne Eccles
Abstract: Two issues in adolescents’ lives that parents need to address are their children’s domain-specific development (e.g. in academics; Eccles, 1993; Hill & Tyson, 2009; McAdoo, 1981) and negative experiences that may impede on such development (Furstenberg et al., 1999; Jarrett & Jefferson, 2003; Cunningham & Swanson, 2010). Within African-American families, however, the role parents play may be especially important, as African-American youth face additional challenges specific to their minoritized status in the United States (Dodson, 2007; Billingsley, 1968). Hence, African-American parents often socialize their children to gain skills for success in adulthood, as well as to effectively cope with various negative experiences detrimental to development (McAdoo, 1981).
Though African-American parents engage in multiple socialization strategies (Furstenberg et al., 1999), studies typically use parenting measures that ignore parents’ specific aims for their use (Gutman & Midgley, 2000; Taylor & Lopez, 2005; Brody et al., 1999). As such, we know little about the relations between parents’ adolescent-specific talent and risk beliefs and strategies used to address each of them. Additionally, the ways talent and risk beliefs and strategies co-occur within families is relatively understudied. Hence, this study examined the relations between African-American parents’ adolescent-specific (1a) talent beliefs and talent development strategies, (1b) risk beliefs and risk minimization strategies, (2a) talent and risk beliefs, and (2b) talent development and risk minimization strategies.
African-American parental figures (n=879) provided short, open-ended responses on their adolescent-specific talent beliefs, talent development strategies, risk beliefs, and risk minimization strategies at the beginning and end of adolescents’ 7th grade year (Mage=12.3-years; 46.6% female). Coding procedures resulted in four talent, six risk, and six strategy categories (Krippendorff’s α =.91-1.00). We dichotomized each category and conducted logistic regression analyses with person fixed-effects to examine within-person variation across waves.
Academic talent beliefs predicted higher odds of multiple strategies for talent development, like positive discussions, provision of experiences, and monitoring/regulation. Other talent beliefs only predicted one strategy. Both athletic and artistic talents predicted higher odds of positive discussion, while musical talents had higher odds of using social resources. For risk beliefs, negative influences predicted higher odds of positive discussion and provisions of experiences. Safety/victimization predicted lower odds of positive discussions but higher odds of working with adolescents and monitoring/regulation. Misbehavior and psychological maladjustment predicted higher odds of positive discussions, while underachievement predicted higher odds of provisions of experiences. We found no relations between talent and risk beliefs, but results indicated positive relations between using social resources and positive discussions for talent development and using social resources for risk minimization. We also found negative relations between positive discussions for talent development and monitoring/regulation for risk minimization.
This study provides evidence that African-American parents implement strategies according to specific aims and domains of interest. Although parents use easy-to-implement strategies like discussions (e.g. encouragement) across some beliefs, many talent and risk beliefs were linked to only one strategy. Such findings suggest a level of specificity to the strategies parents implement to address issues of development.