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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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Elevating and advancing research on adolescent girls: Introducing APA Division 35’s Committee on Adolescent Girls

Hello SRA community! Are you looking for another opportunity to get involved with a great new initiative on adolescent development? We are the newly formed Committee for Adolescent Girls (CAG), a committeebased in APA Division 35 (Psychology of Women). The CAG is a diverse and dedicated team of researchers, practitioners, and educators working collaboratively to promote the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of adolescent girls (and female-identifying youth) through conducting and disseminating scholarly research, resources, and ideas. The following lays out our primary objectives, as well our preliminary plans to address them, which we believe will be of interest to many SRA members:

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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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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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Longitudinal Effects of the “Acting White” Accusation and Racial Identity Development among Black College Students: An interview with Dr. Myles Durkee

This #MustReadMonday, we are excited to feature a recent paper by Dr. Myles I. Durkee: Longitudinal Effects of the “Acting White” Accusation and Racial Identity Development among Black College Students. This article examines racial identity development among Black students making the transition from high school to college, addresses the implications of cultural invalidations (specifically, accusations of “acting White”), and provides policy recommendations for combatting the detrimental impacts of such cultural invalidations on college campuses.

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Socioeconomic Risk for Adolescent Cognitive Control and Emerging Risk-Taking Behaviors: An interview with Dr. Alexis Brieant

Studies suggest that adolescents’ cognitive development may be impacted by elements of socioeconomic status (SES) such as family income, educational attainment, and social status. Dr. Alexis Brieant’s 2020 paper, Socioeconomic Risk for Adolescent Cognitive Control and Emerging Risk-Taking Behaviors examines how SES might impact youths’ cognitive control and, subsequently, youths’ problem behaviors.

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The Role of Sense of Belonging and Family Structure in Adolescent Adjustment: An interview with Zoë Rejaän

Among adolescents, a strong sense of belonging seems to be linked to important psychological outcomes. However, parental divorce may impact adolescents’ sense of belonging not only within the family but within other social contexts as well.

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Reframing Adolescent Development: Identifying Communications Challenges and Opportunities

This #MustReadMonday, we are featuring an interview with Drs. Andrew C. Pool and Nat Kendall-Taylor on one of their recent articles: Reframing Adolescent Development: Identifying Communications Challenges and Opportunities. This article examines some of the public’s dominant ways of thinking that might pose barriers to an accurate understanding of adolescent development and offers suggestions for ways in which researchers could help dispel common misperceptions. Research on which the article was based was funded by the Funders for Adolescent Science Translation and conducted in partnership with the Center for the Developing Adolescent. 

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“How do Your Research Interests Align with Those of Our Faculty?” Identifying Research Interest Fit for Graduate School Applications

So, it’s time to prepare the personal statement for a research-heavy graduate school program (e.g., a Ph.D. or general/experimental Master’s) and you are faced with the daunting question: “How do your research interests align with those of our faculty?” Although some applicants may have their responses ready as if they have been preparing to put pen to paper all throughout their undergraduate studies, other applicants may have a harder time answering this question. Regardless of the ease with which one comes up with their response, the fit of the applicant’s research interests with the research agenda of their prospective mentor is key to getting accepted into—and succeeding in—graduate school. After all, mentors want to work with graduate students who are passionate about the field, at least in part because the collaboration will be more enjoyable, and the student will be more motivated and successful, when the topic is of inherent interest. For those who could use some guidance in figuring out their area of interest, below I review what constitutes a “research interest”, some reasons why the research interest fit is so important in graduate school applications, and some suggestions for how to identify research interest fit in the personal statement.

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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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Can Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey call me Doctor Birdie?

Because professors litter lectures with curated pop culture references and stale dad-jokes, my job requires versing myself with DC and MCU and it has nothing to do with Thor’s biceps. So, for work, I binged the latest animated incarnation of Harley Quinn: a brilliant exploration where HQ severs her identity as joker’s girlfriend, yet struggles to be taken seriously because she’s a girl.  Love the feminism, but come on: give the emancipated anti-hero her academic accolades! Dr. Harley Quinzel, PhD from Gotham University in Psychology (or MD since she practices psychiatry?  Batman should check her credentials).

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Understanding Factors Associated with Intimate Disclosure Between Black Youth and Non-Parental Familial Adults

This #MustReadMonday, we are excited to highlight a recent paper by Ariana Rivens: Understanding Factors Associated with Intimate Disclosure Between Black Youth and Non-Parental Familial Adults. This article examines youth intimate disclosure to non-parental adult relatives among Black youth and outlines implications for adults looking to support Black youths’ disclosure.

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Promoting Interdisciplinarity at SRA

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

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