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Racial Discrimination, Racial Socialization, Gender, and Crime: Understanding Mechanisms and Developmental Pathways

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $98,120)

This grant is funded under NIJ's FY 2013 W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship for Research on Race, Gender, Culture and Crime Program, which sought applications for funding to advance knowledge regarding the confluence of crime, justice, and culture in various societal contexts. The Fellowship places particular emphasis on crime, violence, and the administration of justice in diverse cultural contexts within the United States. Recent research on African American youth demonstrate that experiencing racial discrimination increases the risk of offending. Most African Americans, however, do not engage in crime in response to racial discrimination. This line of research has identified racial socialization as an important protective factor against the criminogenic effects of racial discrimination. The purpose of this study is to advance our understanding of the intersections between racial discrimination, racial socialization, gender, and crime among African Americans in several ways. Using the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS) longitudinal data, the study will unpack the mechanisms and processes through which racial socialization provides resilience to the criminogenic effects of racial discrimination. Then the study will explore the enduring effects of racial discrimination and racial socialization experienced during adolescence and offending on young adulthood. Finally, the project will examine how gender influences the different mechanisms that underlie the protective effects of racial socialization. The FACHS data is a longitudinal multisite study of about 700 African American youth and their primary caregivers. The data cover six waves of interviews. The study will use structural equation models to analyze the data. This study has implications for public policy. A better understanding of these risk and resilience processes can produce a more thorough knowledge base from which to build effective preventative programs that build upon the strengths of African American culture and families.ca/ncf
Date Created: September 11, 2013