Filtered by category: Research Summaries Clear Filter

Racism and Indigenous Adolescent Development: An interview with Dr. Bep Uink

Few existing studies have examined the impacts of racism on adolescent development specifically with regard to Indigenous youths. Dr. Bep Uink and colleagues conducted a review of present literature to gain greater insight into the state of current research on this topic and to identify associations between racism and adolescent development among Indigenous adolescents. They present their findings in an article titled “Racism and Indigenous Adolescent Development: A Scoping Review” and featured in JRA’s Special Series: Dismantling Systems of Racism and Oppression during Adolescence.

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Racism, Stress, and Youth Safety in Activity Spaces

There is a gap in research wherein Black youths’ experiences of racism in routine spaces are sparsely documented. In their latest article titled “Using ecological momentary assessments to understand Black youths’ experiences of racism, stress, and safety”, Anna Ortega-Williams and colleagues aim to fill this gap through an ecological momentary assessment of emotions, racism, and social support among Black youths.

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Dismantling Oppression Series: Exposure to Online Racial Discrimination and Traumatic Events Online in Black Adolescents and Emerging Adults, An interview with Dr. Ashley D. Maxie-Moreman

Adolescents spend much of their time online, which can be detrimental for young people who experience race-related distress within this context. Alarmingly, research suggests that negative online experiences linked to race (e.g., racial discrimination, race-related traumatic events) are associated with psychological distress among Black youth. In their recent paper titled Exposure to Online Racial Discrimination and Traumatic Events Online in Black Adolescents and Emerging Adults, Drs. Ashley D. Maxie-Moreman and Brendesha M. Tynes probe these associations further by examining how online racial discrimination and traumatic events online relate to trauma symptoms of discrimination after accounting for gender identity and the college racial ethnic setting.

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School Pushout: The Role of Supportive Strategies Versus Punitive Practices for LGBT Youth of Color

Every year, nearly 3 million students in the U.S. get suspended or expelled from school. Suspension or expulsion from school ­are forms of school pushout, which refers to punitive school policies and/or practices that make it difficult for students to be successful in school.  School pushout is disproportionately experienced by students of color, (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer) LGBTQ youth, and other underrepresented and underserved youth. Yet, there are several supportive strategies schools can use that keep students in school and learning. In our research, we explored how supportive versus punitive strategies might impact school pushout for LGBT youth of color.

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Understanding Racial Attitudes Among Students and Teachers in an Ethnically/Racially Diverse High School: An interview with Dr. Alexandra Davis

School is one environment which may help facilitate youths’ exposure to a variety of attitudes towards race and diversity, and such attitudes may impact adolescents’ educational experiences in both positive and negative ways. It is therefore vital to understand how attitudes towards race are expressed in school settings, particularly by White teachers towards youth of color. Dr. Alexandra Davis’s recent article, Understanding racial attitudes among students and teachers in a ethnically/racially diverse high school, examines the role of racial attitudes among teachers within the high school setting.

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Youths’ Family and Non-Family Roles as Predictors of Subjective Adulthood in Three Low-Income Agricultural Settings: An interview with Mr. Erick Axxe

Much of the existing research on subjective adulthood (i.e., feeling like an adult) among adolescents has been conducted with participants from wealthy countries. In their recent article on this topic, Erick Axxe and his colleagues instead examined subjective adulthood among youth from less frequently studied settings—specifically, Jalisco, Mexico, Gaza Province, Mozambique, and Chitwan Valley, Nepal.

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The influence of sociocultural beliefs on adolescents’ moral and tolerance evaluations toward corruption: An interview with Cristhian A. Martínez

Adolescents’ sociocultural beliefs may be critical to their reasoning surrounding topics of morality, such as corruption. Cristhian Martínez’s recent article, The influence of sociocultural beliefs on adolescents’ moral and tolerance evaluations toward corruption, seeks to improve our understanding of adolescents’ socio-moral development to help illuminate the contexts in which adolescents are more or less tolerant in their evaluations of corruption.

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If you are anxious and depressive, later you feel socially unimpressive (and not vice versa)

We might not need research to tell us that giving and receiving affection seems to be ingrained in our very essence. Our mood lifts when a stranger smiles at us; we feel warm when people care about us. It might not come as a surprise that connecting with others have several physical and mental health benefits. Ironically, psychologically distressed people tend to withdraw from and avoid social situations, be rated as less socially skilled compared to others, and have unsatisfactory social functioning. Which begets the question, what comes first? Is it peoples’ negative belief in their ability to successfully interact with others or is it symptoms of anxiety and depression?

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The role of body mass index, gender, and sociocultural factors in weight concerns among Black youth: An interview with Anna K. Hochgraf

Concerns about body image are prevalent among Black youth and are associated with a number of detrimental outcomes on mental health, including onset of depressive symptoms and decreased self-esteem. In their recent article on weight concerns among Black adolescents, Anna K. Hochgraf and her co-authors examined how sociocultural factors—such as racial identity and racial socialization—might help buffer the impact of weight concerns among Black adolescents. Anna kindly took the time to answer some of our questions on this article.

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Concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic among justice-involved and low-income youth: A research summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of people across the world, regardless of age, racial and ethnic background, and socioeconomic status (SES). However, some groups (e.g., people from minoritized backgrounds) are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Justice system-involved adolescents (i.e., adolescents detained in a residential facility or adhering to probationary requirements) constitute one such group who face increased risk. Despite heightened potential of COVID-19 infection, little is known about justice-involved youths’ concerns about the pandemic. In their 2022 article, Cavanagh, Clough, and Thomas examine the differences in pandemic-related concerns among youth who are and are not justice-involved.

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Classroom climate, perceived societal Islamophobia, and critical action among adolescents: An interview with Dr. Miriam Schwarzenthal

 Schools offer an important context in which adolescents can develop their understanding of and reflection surrounding social inequities. Dr. Miriam Schwarzenthal’s latest paper, Critical consciousness socialization at school: Classroom climate, perceived societal Islamophobia, and critical action among adolescents, examines how critical consciousness, color-evasion, and multiculturalism within the classroom are associated with adolescents’ critical reflection and action.

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Positive Racial Identity of Black Brazilian and Colombian Adolescents Amidst Systems of Educational Oppression

I am Black and proud of it. I was born this way and I'm really proud of my race because of everything that we've fought for. Brazil was the last country to end slavery. In theory, we've ended slavery but many of us still work hard for food and shelter because we don't have any other option (18-year-old Brazilian student; Harris, 2021).

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Sexual orientation disclosure among Latinx sexual minority high school and college youth: An interview with Zhenqiang Zhao

Adolescence is an important time of identity development and exploration. It is also a time of self-disclosure with regard to sexual orientation. Zhenqiang Zhao’s 2021 paper, Sexual orientation disclosure among Latinx sexual minority high school and college youth, examines how minority stressors might mediate the link between sexual orientation disclosure and elements of well-being, including depressive symptoms and self-esteem, in a sample of Latinx youth.

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Protecting Adolescents from Emotional Maladjustment during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Adolescents’ Coping and Parents’ Reactions to Adolescents’ Negative Emotions

During the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents may encounter various stressful events (e.g., compulsory quarantine, changes in modes of learning during school closure, and increased conflicts with family members during home confinement), which may lead to their emotional maladjustment. This research by Shi and Wang (2021) examined adolescents’ own ways of coping with pandemic-related stress, and how their parents’ ways of reacting to their negative emotions may help protect adolescents from experiencing negative emotions, depression, and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic in China.

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Promoting Interdisciplinarity at SRA

By Lindsay Till Hoyt, on behalf of the SRA Interdisciplinary Committee

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How valuable is the parent-child relationship in protecting adolescents from the mental health impact of COVID-19?

We can all agree: the spread of COVID-19 was, and still is, a huge threat to our physical health. More and more people worldwide have also started to warn about its possible negative impact on our mental health. Adolescents, in particular, could be very vulnerable to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures imposed, given their age and developmental tasks. Yet, it is only now that the first studies on the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of adolescents are appearing.

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Predicting Emotion Changes during COVID-19: A Daily Diary Study in Youth

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the mental health of children and adolescents. Identifying the predictors of emotional response to the pandemic is critical for prevention and intervention efforts. Given that the period of adolescence is characterized by high sensitivity to stress, teenagers may be especially sensitive to pandemic-related challenges.

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Slow life history strategies and increases in externalizing and internalizing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic

The ongoing COVID pandemic has had a psychological impact on people of all ages, including adolescents. Although the devastation wrought by COVID appears unprecedented, disease pandemics have recurred throughout human history. Any attempts to mitigate the psychological impact of the current pandemic should reflect the understanding that humans have evolved coping strategies shaped by evolutionarily recurrent adversities, including infectious diseases. Coping with environmental adversities requires coordination between physiological and psychological systems. These regulatory responses are known as fast and slow life history tradeoff strategies.

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Underrepresented Voices: Positive Youth Development among Roma and Egyptian Youth in Times of Pandemic

COVID-19 is disrupting youth development globally. Ethnic and racial minorities are disproportionately exposed to the virus and affected by the pandemic due to systemic social and economic disparities. Yet, there is a lack of research on how at-risk minority youth are coping with the present pandemic to shed light on the developmental assets that can boost their positive development during these uncertain times.

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Religious Support and Black Adolescent Girls’ Mental Well-being

Religion is a key source of better mental health and well-being across the life course for Black Americans. A constant among Black youth and their families, it is also a significant cultural and coping resource for Black girls, who tend to be more religious than Black boys. Attending worship services and participating in other organized religious activities has been shown to contribute to a wide range of positive outcomes, including mental well-being. This may be one significant factor to help us understand how to foster mental well-being among Black girls and the emotional support received from relationships formed within the religious communities that Black girls may access.

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