White Parents’ Racial Socialization : Are They Doing as Much as They Think They Are?
Zucker, Jenna Kelley
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While parents of color cite racial socialization as an important aspect of parenting, White parents often do not share these views. White parents are often reluctant to discuss race and racism with their children, even in relevant situations, either because they fear it will induce racism or they believe that race is no longer relevant. This study investigated how White parents talk to their children about race and the extent to which racial attitudes align. We presented ten White parent-child dyads with two race-relevant news clips and asked them to watch and discuss the clips. We then separated parent and child for independent interviews during which we asked what they had discussed, if they had talked about these or other issues before, and how the subject of race may be approached in their household. Parents and children were also given appropriate racial socialization and bias measures. The data suggests that parental perceptions of their socialization efforts differ from the messages their children are receiving. Although most parents recalled having conversations about race with their children, usually prompted through schoolwork, the children reported these conversations as lessons about bullying, rather than race. When parents addressed discrimination or racial injustice, it was in terms of historical context, failing to connect to other current race-related issues.
Parent child relationship
Department of Psychology
Color poster with text, charts, and images..