Okeke-Adeyanju, N., Taylor, L. C., Craig, A. B., Smith, R. E., Thomas, A., Boyle, A. E., & DeRosier, M. E. (2014). Celebrating the Strengths of Black Youth: Increasing Self-Esteem and Implications for Prevention. Journal of Primary Prevention. doi:10.1007/s10935-014-0356-1
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.
Celebrating the Strengths of Black Youth (CSBY) was developed by 3C Institute with grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. CSBY has been proven effective at boosting African-American children's self-esteem and facilitating productive parent-child conversations about race.
CSBY is based on years of research and extensive input from the African-American community. A research study exploring the impact of the CSBY program on African-American children's self-esteem, racial identity, and parent-child communication revealed that after the intervention, parents were much more likely to communicate messages of racial equality, and children had higher levels of self-esteem.
Decades of research has linked African-American youths' high self-esteem and positive racial identity with their academic success, behavioral adjustment, and positive emotional functioning (Chavous et al., 2008; Smith et al., 2009).
Chavous, T. M., Rivas-Drake, D., Smalls, C., Griffin, T., & Cogburn, C. (2008). Gender matters, too: The influences of school racial discrimination and racial identity on academic engagement outcomes among African American adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 44, 637-654.
Smith, C. O., Levine, D. W., Smith, E. P., Dumas, J., & Prinz, R. J. (2009). A developmental perspective of the relationship of racial-ethic identity to self-construct, achievement, and behavior in African American children. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 15, 145-157.