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Celebrating the Strengths of Black Youth: Increasing Self-Esteem and Implications for Prevention

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test the impact of a preventive intervention program, celebrating the strengths of black youth (CSBY), on African American children’s self-esteem, racial identity, and parental racial socialization messages. CSBY consisted of 10 in-person group sessions in which small groups of middle school students met two trained group leaders. Parents were invited to attend three of the 10 group sessions. African American children between the ages of 7 and 10 were randomly assigned to either a treatment (TX; n = 33) or waitlist control (WLC; n = 40) group. Pre- and post-measures were completed to capture treatment effects. Analyses revealed that treatment group participants had higher levels of self-esteem post intervention than WLC group participants. In addition, treatment group parents were more likely to communicate egalitarian messages to their children post intervention than WLC parents. The advantages of a cultural heritage, strengths-based preventive intervention for African American youth and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Even though treatment condition (i.e., treatment vs. waitlist control) explained relatively little of the variance in child-reported self-esteem at the time of post-assessment, it did account for more variance than the other covariates included in the model, with the exception of child-reported self-esteem at pre-assessment, which accounted for 35 % of the variance in post-assessment self-esteem.

  2. 2.

    A power analysis was conducted using the G*Power software, which estimated that a sample of at least 250 participants across the TX and WLC groups would be required in order to detect a medium effect size.

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Correspondence to Lorraine C. Taylor.

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Okeke-Adeyanju, N., Taylor, L.C., Craig, A.B. et al. Celebrating the Strengths of Black Youth: Increasing Self-Esteem and Implications for Prevention. J Primary Prevent 35, 357–369 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-014-0356-1

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Keywords

  • Prevention
  • African American youth
  • Racial socialization
  • Racial identity
  • Self-esteem