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Three District Study (3D)

This project is the inaugural project of the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context at the University of Michigan. Funded by NSF, the project focuses on racial socialization processes in family, school, and community contexts among Black adolescents in three demographically diverse school districts. "Socialization" includes the explicit and implicit messages that are transmitted to and received by youth about the importance and meanings associated with their racial group. We utilize multiple methods (longitudinal survey, daily diary, qualitative interview and ethnographic approaches) to examine the socialization messages that youth receive about being Black, ways these messages may align or conflict across school, family, and community settings, and implications for youths' identity development, academic achievement, socio-emotional competence, and well-being outcomes. Of central interest is examining the vast diversity among Black families and youth to better understand how parents' goals for and messages to their children about race are shaped by their different social contexts. For instance, we explore questions such as:

  • How are parents' strategic socialization choices and approaches influenced by their own backgrounds and experiences? by how they perceive the specific demands and risks present in their children's school and community settings? What socialization messages do youth receive from their school settings - through interactions with others and school structures - about the meaning of being Black? In what ways can adolescents' family racial socialization and racial identity beliefs serve to promote their psychological and academic adjustment? Under what conditions do racial socialization and racial identity serve as protective factors against the negative effects of discrimination or other negative race-related experiences commonly experienced by youth of color? (Principal Investigators: Tabbye Chavous, Robert Jagers, Carla O'Connor, Stephanie Rowley, & Robert Sellers)