, Volume 33, Issue 1-2, pp 91-105

Racial Discrimination and Racial Identity as Risk or Protective Factors for Violent Behaviors in African American Young Adults

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Abstract

This study examined the influences of racial discrimination and different racial identity attitudes on engaging in violent behavior among 325 African American young adults. The contributions of racial discrimination and racial identity attitudes in explaining violent behavior during the transition into young adulthood while controlling for the influences of prior risk behaviors at ninth grade were examined separately for males and females. In addition, the buffering effects of racial identity attitudes on the relationship between racial discrimination and violent behavior were tested. Results indicated that experience with racial discrimination was a strong predictor of violent behavior, regardless of gender. The centrality of race for males and the meaning others attribute to being Black for both males and females were moderators of the influence of racial discrimination on violent behavior.