Title

School and neighborhood contexts, perceptions of racial discrimination, and psychological well-being among African American adolescents

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

The present study examined contextual influ- ences on the relationship between racial discrimination (individual, cultural, and collective/institutional) and psy- chological well-being. Two hundred and fifty two African American adolescents (46% male and 54% female, average age = 16) completed measures of racial discrimination, self-esteem, depressive symptoms and life satisfaction. Archival information regarding the racial/ethnic composi- tion of the participants’ neighborhoods and schools was used and increased school diversity was linked to increased perceptions of cultural discrimination. Regardless of school and neighborhood diversity, high perceptions of collective/ institutional discrimination were linked to lower self- esteem for students in high diversity settings. Further, high levels of collective/institutional discrimination were asso- ciated with lower life satisfaction for African American youth in low diversity settings.