Family and Kin

  • Faye Z. Belgrave
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


The above quote shows the strong influence of mothers and other maternal relations on adolescent girls. Mothers ensure that their daughters learn the life skills and lessons necessary to navigate life. Girls learn from their parents how to care for others, do well in school, and how to be good citizens. African American girls’ behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes are shaped by mothers and other members of her family more so than any other person or institution.

Socialization within the family begins at birth. Generally, the mother is the primary person responsible for her daughter’s socialization. Others including fathers, grandmothers, and other family members may also assume this responsibility. Siblings and other relatives, including aunts, uncles, and cousins, are similarly influential in the lives of African American girls. Throughout the chapter, research and literature on the role the family plays in supporting the healthy psychosocial development of African American girls is highlighted. As will be discussed, her family is the primary agent for shaping who she is and who she will become.


African American Woman African American Male Young Sibling African American Family Physical Punishment 
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  1. Institute for the Advanced Study of Black Families. This Center, directed by Dr. Wade Nobles has as its stated mission the reunification of the Black family, the reclamation of Black culture, and the revitalization of the Black community. It accomplishes this through research, education, and training. See website for further information
  2. McLoyd, V. C., Hill, N. E., & Dodge, K. A. (2005). African American Family Life. African American Families. New York: Guildford. This edited volume presents a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities facing parents, children, and communities. It also discusses health and key cultural and social processes.Google Scholar
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, National Registry of Evidence Based Programs This registry includes information on over 100 interventions to prevent problem behaviors. It identifies programs that can be used specifically with African Americans, females, and families.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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