One Talk at a Time: A racial-ethnic socialization intervention for diverse families to reduce psychosocial inequalities

Does an intervention to help parents talk to their adolescent children about discrimination and racial-ethnic identity improve children’s ability to cope with discrimination as well as their social, behavioral, and academic outcomes?

Prior research suggests that when minoritized parents and youth have sustained conversations about race, ethnicity, and identity, youth are more prepared for the discrimination they face in everyday life. In turn, young people’s increased competence and efficacy in dealing with discrimination can buffer the negative effects of discrimination on their health, mental health, and academic outcomes. Still, little research examines ways to support parents in having these types of conversations with their children. To address this gap, this study examines a video-based intervention that supports parents in promoting children’s positive racial-ethnic socialization. The 11-part video series includes motivational, didactic, and social modeling modules (i.e., two families of each targeted racial-ethnic group model conversations) to train parents in having racial-ethnic socialization conversations with their teenagers. The content of the training will be the same across Asian, Black, and Latinx families, but the videos parents watch will be matched to their racial-ethnic group. Stein and colleagues will use a mixed-methods longitudinal randomized controlled trial design to assess the effects of the intervention on parent and child outcomes, focusing on the key outcome of whether the intervention improves youth mental health and academic functioning. While racism is a reality of life for youth of color, this study examines a well-theorized, easily accessible intervention to support parents in helping their children prepare for discrimination experiences.

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