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Stress Resilience in African American Adolescents

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022007/00001

Material Information

Title: Stress Resilience in African American Adolescents The Role of Culture-Specific Protective Factors
Physical Description: 1 online resource (120 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: adolescents, african, africentric, africentrism, africultural, coping, culture, ethnic, resilience, stress
Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Counseling Psychology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Literature highlights the significance of culture in one's behavioral and emotional functioning. However, few studies have explored the role of culture in stress resilience among African American youth. Our purpose was to assess whether the relationship between stressful events and externalizing/internalizing behavior in African American adolescents is moderated by culture-specific variables. The investigated culture-specific variables include ethnic identity (sense of belonging to one's ethnic group), Africentric values (adherence to an African worldview), and Africultural coping style (cognitive/emotional debriefing efforts to manage perceived environmental stressors, collective coping dependence on group activities to cope with stressors, spiritual-centered coping behavior that reflect harmony with spiritual aspects of the universe, and ritual-centered coping use of rituals to handle stress). The extent to which these variables serve as protective factors is explored from a culturally-relevant theory of stress. This culturally-relevant theory gives explicit attention to the role of culture in each element of the stress experience as it emphasizes the social embeddedness of each individual. The participant sample included 146 African American adolescents between the ages of 13-18 years old involved in academic enrichment programs in their respective schools. The sample was comprised of 101 females and 45 males. Sixty-six percent of the sample qualified for reduced-fee or free lunch. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test the moderating effects of the culture-specific variables on the relationship between stressful events and externalizing/ internalizing behavior. Findings indicated that (1) ethnic identity moderated the relationship between stressful events and internalizing behavior, (2) Africentric values had a moderating effect on the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior, (3) cognitive/ emotional debriefing served as a moderator in the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior, and (4) cognitive/emotional debriefing moderated the relationship between stressful events and internalizing behavior. These findings suggest that intervention and prevention strategies aimed at reducing psychological symptoms associated with stress should integrate a cultural enrichment component in order to increase the effectiveness of these strategies with African American adolescents. Future research must continue to identify culture-specific factors that may promote positive outcomes for a population considered to be 'at risk' for psychological symptoms (i.e., externalizing behavior and internalizing behavior).
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Tucker, Carolyn M.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2008-11-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022007:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0022007/00001

Material Information

Title: Stress Resilience in African American Adolescents The Role of Culture-Specific Protective Factors
Physical Description: 1 online resource (120 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: adolescents, african, africentric, africentrism, africultural, coping, culture, ethnic, resilience, stress
Psychology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Counseling Psychology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Literature highlights the significance of culture in one's behavioral and emotional functioning. However, few studies have explored the role of culture in stress resilience among African American youth. Our purpose was to assess whether the relationship between stressful events and externalizing/internalizing behavior in African American adolescents is moderated by culture-specific variables. The investigated culture-specific variables include ethnic identity (sense of belonging to one's ethnic group), Africentric values (adherence to an African worldview), and Africultural coping style (cognitive/emotional debriefing efforts to manage perceived environmental stressors, collective coping dependence on group activities to cope with stressors, spiritual-centered coping behavior that reflect harmony with spiritual aspects of the universe, and ritual-centered coping use of rituals to handle stress). The extent to which these variables serve as protective factors is explored from a culturally-relevant theory of stress. This culturally-relevant theory gives explicit attention to the role of culture in each element of the stress experience as it emphasizes the social embeddedness of each individual. The participant sample included 146 African American adolescents between the ages of 13-18 years old involved in academic enrichment programs in their respective schools. The sample was comprised of 101 females and 45 males. Sixty-six percent of the sample qualified for reduced-fee or free lunch. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test the moderating effects of the culture-specific variables on the relationship between stressful events and externalizing/ internalizing behavior. Findings indicated that (1) ethnic identity moderated the relationship between stressful events and internalizing behavior, (2) Africentric values had a moderating effect on the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior, (3) cognitive/ emotional debriefing served as a moderator in the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior, and (4) cognitive/emotional debriefing moderated the relationship between stressful events and internalizing behavior. These findings suggest that intervention and prevention strategies aimed at reducing psychological symptoms associated with stress should integrate a cultural enrichment component in order to increase the effectiveness of these strategies with African American adolescents. Future research must continue to identify culture-specific factors that may promote positive outcomes for a population considered to be 'at risk' for psychological symptoms (i.e., externalizing behavior and internalizing behavior).
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Tucker, Carolyn M.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2008-11-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0022007:00001


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STRESS RESILIENCE IN AFRI CAN AMERICAN ADOLESCENTS: THE ROLE OF CULTURE-SPECI FIC PROTECTIVE FACTORS By ERIN S. JACKSON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008 1

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2008 Erin S. Jackson 2

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To everyone who believed in me. 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to express my grat itude to several individuals. Fi rst, I would like to thank Dr. Carolyn Tucker, my supervisory committee chair, for providing unconditional support through the ups and downs of my research. She has de finitely taught me the meaning of patience, determination, and empowerment. Next, I thank th e members of my committee (Dr. Julia Graber, Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji, and Dr. Bonnie Moradi) for their know ledge, patience, and willingness to help me succeed. Most importantly, I must express the utmost appreciation to my parents, family, and friends who always imparted words of support and encouragement. I will be eternally grateful for the wonderful support system they have provided. 4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4 LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................7 LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................8 ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... ...............9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................ ..11 Adolescent De velopment ........................................................................................................ 11 Culture and De velopment ....................................................................................................... 12 Risk Factors in Adolescence ...................................................................................................13 Ethnic Minority Adolescents ..................................................................................................1 4 Stress among Minority Adolescents .......................................................................................15 Risk and Resilience .................................................................................................................17 A Multicultural Model of Stress .............................................................................................19 Statement of the Problem ...................................................................................................... ..20 Purpose of the Study .......................................................................................................... .....20 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................................23 Stress and Resilience in Adolescents ......................................................................................23 Transactional Stress Model .....................................................................................................23 Multicultural Model of the Stress Process ..............................................................................24 Resilience .................................................................................................................... ............25 Classic Resilience Research Studies ...............................................................................27 Contemporary Studies of Resilience ...............................................................................29 Cultural Context of Resilience ........................................................................................32 Ethnic Identity ........................................................................................................................34 Identity Formation in Adolescence .................................................................................34 Identity in Ethnic Minority Youth ...................................................................................35 Traditional Racial Identity Models ..................................................................................35 Ethnic Identity Formation ................................................................................................36 Components of Ethnic Identity ........................................................................................39 Studies on Ethnic Identity as a Protective Factor ............................................................40 Africentric Values ............................................................................................................ .......42 Dimensions of Africentric Worldview ............................................................................42 Africentric Worldview and Stress ...................................................................................43 Studies of Africentric Worldvi ew as a Protective Factor ................................................44 Coping Style ...........................................................................................................................46 Types of Coping ..............................................................................................................47 5

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Cultural Context of Coping .............................................................................................48 Coping Style of African Americans ................................................................................49 Our Study ................................................................................................................................50 Hypotheses .................................................................................................................... ..........51 3 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................................. 53 Participants .................................................................................................................. ...........53 Instruments ................................................................................................................... ..........53 Procedure ..................................................................................................................... ...........55 4 RESULTS ..................................................................................................................... ..........58 Descriptive Statistics for Ma jor Investigated Variables .........................................................58 Preliminary Analysis .......................................................................................................... ....58 Data Analyses to Test the Studys Hypotheses ......................................................................60 Data Analysis to Test the Studys Research Question ............................................................66 5 DISCUSSION .................................................................................................................. .......78 Summary and Interpretation of the Desc riptive Mean and Correlation Data .........................79 Summary and Interpretation of the Hypotheses and Research Question Results ...................80 Limitations of Study .......................................................................................................... .....85 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... ..........87 APPENDIX A PARENTAL INFORMED CONSENT FORM ......................................................................90 B TEEN ASSENT FORM ..........................................................................................................91 C DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE ..................................................................................92 D MULTICULTURAL EVENTS SC HEDULE FOR ADOLESCENTS ..................................93 E YOUTH SELF-REPORT .......................................................................................................98 F MULTIGROUP ETHNIC IDENTITY MEASURE .............................................................104 G CHILDRENS AFRICENTRIC VALUES SCALE .............................................................106 H AFRICULTURAL COPING SYSTEMS INVENTORY .....................................................107 I MARLOWE-CROWNE SOCIAL DESIRABILITY SCALE .............................................110 LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................112 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................120 6

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 Africentric worldview in cont rast to Eurocentric worldview ............................................52 3-1 Demographic characteristic s for the participant sample ....................................................57 4-1 Descriptive data for major va riables of intere st in study ...................................................68 4-2 Means and standard deviations of majo r variables of interest in study by gender ............68 4-3 Correlations of major investigated variables incl uding social desirability ........................69 4-4 Effect of ethnic identity on st ress and externalizing behavior ...........................................69 4-5 Effect of ethnic identity on st ress and internalizing behavior ............................................70 4-6 Effect of Africentric values on stress and externalizing behavior .....................................70 4-7 Effect of Africentric values on stress and internalizing behavior ......................................70 4-8 Effect of cognitive/emotional debriefi ng on stress and externalizing behavior ................71 4-9 Effect of cognitive/emotional debriefi ng on stress and internalizing behavior .................71 4-10 Effect of spiritual-centered coping on stress and externalizing behavior ..........................71 4-11 Effect of spiritual-centered coping on stress and internalizing behavior ...........................72 4-12 Effect of collective coping on st ress and externalizing behavior ......................................72 4-13 Effect of collective coping on st ress and internalizing behavior .......................................72 4-14 Effect of ritual-centered coping on stress and externalizing behavior ...............................73 4-15 Effect of ritual-centered coping on stress and internalizing behavior ...............................73 7

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 Ethnic identity ....................................................................................................................74 4-2 Africentric values ....................................................................................................... ........75 4-3 Cognitive/emotional debriefing .........................................................................................76 4-4 Cognitive/emotional debriefing .........................................................................................77 8

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Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy STRESS RESILIENCE IN AFRI CAN AMERICAN ADOLESCENTS: THE ROLE OF CULTURE-SPECI FIC PROTECTIVE FACTORS By Erin S. Jackson May 2008 Chair: Carolyn M. Tucker Major: Counseling Psychology Literature highlights the si gnificance of culture in ones behavioral and emotional functioning. However, few studies have explored the role of cu lture in stress resilience among African American youth. Our purpose was to assess whether the relationship between stressful events and externalizing/internalizing behavior in African American adolescents is moderated by culture-specific variables. The investigated culture-specific variables include ethnic identity (sense of belonging to ones ethnic group), Af ricentric values (adherence to an African worldview), and Africultural co ping style (cognitive/emotional debr iefing [efforts to manage perceived environmental stressors], collective coping [dependence on gr oup activities to cope with stressors], spiritual-centered coping [behavior that reflect harmony with spiritual aspects of the universe], and ritual-centered coping [use of r ituals to handle stress]). The extent to which these variables serve as protective factors is expl ored from a culturally-rele vant theory of stress. This culturally-relevant theory gi ves explicit attention to the role of culture in each element of the stress experience as it emphasizes th e social embeddedness of each individual. The participant sample included 146 African American adolescents between the ages of 13-18 years old involved in academic enrichment programs in their respective schools. The 9

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10 sample was comprised of 101 females and 45 males. Sixty-six percent of the sample qualified for reduced-fee or free lunch. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test the moderating effects of the culture-specific variables on the relationship be tween stressful events and externalizing/ internalizing behavior. Findings indicated that (1) ethnic identity moderated the relationship between stressful events and in ternalizing behavior, (2) Africentric values had a moderating effect on the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior, (3) cognitive/ emotional debriefing served as a moderator in the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior, and (4) cognitive/emotional debriefing moderated the relationship between stressful events and internalizing behavi or. These findings suggest that intervention and prevention strategies aimed at reducing psychol ogical symptoms associated with stress should integrate a cultural enrichment component in or der to increase the effectiveness of these strategies with African American adolescents. Futu re research must continue to identify culturespecific factors that may promote positive outcome s for a population considered to be at risk for psychological symptoms (i.e. externaliz ing behavior and internalizing behavior).

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Adolescence is a developmental period in wh ich an individual expe riences psychological, physical, and social changes. It has been described as a time of accelerated growth and change, second only to infancy; a time of expandi ng horizons, self-discovery, and emerging independence; a time of metamorphosis from childhood to adulthood (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 1999, p. 2). During this developmental period, adolescents may be exposed to positive behaviors and situatio ns that enable adaptive functioning such as nurturing parent and/or peer re lationships, community involvement, and extracurricular activity. On the other hand, adolescents may experience situations that compromise their adaptive functioning such as negative peer relationships and weak parental relationships (Arrington & Wilson, 2000). Adolescent Development The developmental changes that come with adolescence are typically physical/biological, cognitive, and psychosocial (Steinberg, 1999). Phys ical development involves rapid acceleration in height and weight and development of primary sex characteristics. Cognitive development involves if-then thinking, advanc ed reasoning, metacognition, and re lative thinking. Issues of psychosocial development include development related to ones iden tity, autonomy, intimacy, achievement, and comfort with ones sexuality. Three distinct stages of adolescence can be identified in the psychological development of adolescents. These three stages include early, middle, and late adolescence (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine 1999). During early adolescence (ages 11-13), there is a focus on the self-image in addition to the biological, physical, be havioral, and social changes associated with transitioning from elementary school to middle/junior high school. Middle 11

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adolescence (ages 14-15) is characterized by in creased autonomy because of efforts to be independent of parents and by an increased sense of responsibility. During late adolescence (ages 16-19), adolescents evidence a more secure sense of identity and status in society. By this stage, adolescents ideally feel psychologically integrat ed, as there is an established balance among dreams, goals, and reality (Steinberg, 1999). Duri ng all stages of development, adolescents depend not only on their families, but also on the neighborhoods in which they reside, the schools they attend, the health care system availa ble to them, and the workplace in which they may work (Steinberg, 1999). Culture and Development Greenfield, Keller, Fuligni, and Maynard (2003) emphasize that culture (a system of beliefs, values, and behaviors) a ffects how a developmental pathway is negotiated. Greenfield et al. (2003) address two ideali zed developmental pathways: (1) a pathway focused on individuation and independen ce (i.e. individualistic), a nd (2) a pathway valuing group membership and interdependence (i.e. coll ectivistic). In the individualistic pathway, individuation is the developmental goal as soci al obligations are individually negotiated. The focus is on creativity, curiosity, assertivene ss, and self-esteem. On the other hand, the developmental goal of the collectivistic pathway is conformity with established social norms as greater emphasis is placed on soci al responsibilities ra ther than individual choice. The emphasis is on responsibility, politeness, resp ect for elders, and family loyalty. While developmental psychology has traditionally stressed the individualistic pathway of development, Greenfield et al. (2003) highlight cultures impact on three universal tasks of human development: relationship formation, know ledge acquisition, and the balance between autonomy and relatedness. With regard to relatio nship formation, individualistic cultures value independent functioning while collectivisti c cultures emphasize family loyalty and 12

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intergenerational harmony. Sociali zation practices, as a result, may differ across cultural groups. For example, some cultures may perceive asser tiveness and autonomy as immaturity while other cultures encourage it. For the developmental task of knowledge acquisition, the collectivistic pathway encourages social intelligence above the scie ntific knowledge valued in the individualistic pathway. There may be greater focus on social roles and character development than academic achievement. More specifically, collectivistic cu ltures may place emphasis on the social effects and context of ones actions wh ile individualistic cultures stress the individuals intentions behind the actions (Gre enfield et al., 2003). The elements of autonomy and relatedness also differ across the two developmental pathways. In collectivistic cultures, children often play central roles in the maintenance of the household, have increased levels of responsibilit y, and are expected to transition to adulthood quicker than adolescents of i ndividualistic cultures. Individualistic cultures often employ authoritative parenting which provides child ren with the opportunity to think and act independently but within the c ontext of supportive parents. On the other hand, authoritative parenting used by some colle ctivistic cultures promotes obedience and conformity among children. The focus may be on hard work and discip line rather than inti macy between a parent and child. Cultural differences in value systems and socialization practic es may greatly impact the developmental outcomes for adol escents (Greenfield et al., 2003). Risk Factors in Adolescence In addition to developmental changes, all adolescents encounter stressful events during adolescence. Normative stressful events may incl ude peer pressure, intimate/sexual relationships with peers, the desire to be independent of family, and academic underachievement. However, some stressful events may threaten the developm ent of personal competence and positive mental 13

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health critical to healthy adapta tion to the changes that come with adolescence. Additionally, risk factors, either biological or environmental, may increase the likelihood of psychopathology among adolescents. Some examples of risk f actors are (a) having a congenital defect, (b) surviving or witnessing violence, (c) livi ng in a single family home, (d) having low socioeconomic status, or (e) experiencing racism or discrimination (M arkstrom, Marshall, & Tryon, 2000; Smith & Carlson, 1997). Ethnic Minority Adolescents Ethnic minority adolescents, who comprise 37% of the adolescent popul ation, are placed at greater risk for stress and adversity due to expe riences of prejudice, racism, and discrimination (Ozer, Park, Paul, Brindis, & Irwin, 2003). Ja ret (1995) explained th e three components of identifying a minority group. A group is considered a minority due to (a) being visibly different from others due to particular physical and cu ltural characteristics, (b) appearing powerless, unequally treated, and limited in social, political, and economic opportunities, and (c) developing a sense of identity from an awareness of isol ation and discrimination by the larger society. Structural factors such as opportunity inequity, inadequate schooling, and limited resources may promote the vulnerability of many ethnic minor ity groups, such as African Americans. Ozer et al. (2003) emphasized the dilemma facing mi nority adolescents by presenting noteworthy statistical data. For example, 88% of White children are in good h ealth compared to only 75% of African American children. Moreover, 34% of African American children live in poverty compared to 10% of White child ren. Ten percent of African Amer ican children dropped out of school compared to 6% of White adolescents. Additionally, while 75% of White adolescents reside with both parents, only 41% of African American adol escents live in two-parent households. The additional stress experienced by ethnic minority adolescents as compared to majority adolescents may help explain the ethnic/racial differences in these statistics. 14

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Stress among Minority Adolescents Ethnic minority adolescents are no t homogenous in their life e xperiences, social situations, or health status. Ethnic minority adolescents may experience stressful events that result from holding different cultural values communication styles, and inte rpersonal relationship norms from those of the dominant culture (Carter, 1991). For example, the collectivistic cultures experienced by many minority adolescents often t each and reinforce mutual empathy, conformity to ones familys expectations, and subordination of personal inte rests. These adolescents must learn to be assertive, independe nt, and confident to succeed in society while being responsive to cultural expectations at home and in the co mmunity. Such adjusting across contexts and situations may create stress for the ethnic minor ity adolescent. This additional stress may be related to the need to use diffe rent languages, communication styl es, problem-solving strategies, and interpersonal interaction styles ac ross contexts (Arrington & Wilson, 2000). Boykin (1983) utilized the Triple Quandary framework to explain the cultural influences that affect the stress experience and resilien ce among African Americans. Boykins theory holds that Africans in America must cope with three realms of experience: Anglocultural, minority, and Afrocultural. Individuals may gravitate toward s one or more realms to varying degrees. The Anglocultural realm involves adhe rence to the worldview, values, and behaviors consistent with European Americans. Such components incl ude individualism, de mocracy, materialism, competition, and effort optimism. These qualities are often perceived as necessary for success (i.e. resilience) in mainstream society (Jagers and Mock, 1993). The minority realm entails attitudes and ad aptive strategies aimed at handling ongoing racial and economic oppression (Jagers & Mock, 1993). Marginalization is a strategy often used by individuals in the minority realm and entails not adhering to the traditional or mainstream cultures. No cultural-specific a pproaches are utilized to deal with limited opportunities. Coping 15

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behaviors may include dropping out of school, involvement in a gang, or illegal substance use (Jagers, 1996). Therefore, the likelihood of positive outcomes for African Americans may be hindered by orientation in the minority realm. The final domain, Afrocultural realm, entails endorsement of traditi onal African culture. Historical African beliefs and values include spirituality, movement, harmony, energy, affect, communalism, expressive individualism, oral tradition, and social tim e perspective (Boykin, 1985). Karenga (1980) identified principles of trad itional African culture, including unity, selfdetermination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Many of these traditional beliefs and values re main central to African American individuals. Therefore, African American adolescents may experience stress due to bei ng of minority status and coping with the social and behavioral dema nds of the majority group in addition to normal adolescent development. This stress may place these youth at risk for poor outcomes. There are several other factors that place Afri can American adolescents at risk for poorer outcomes. These factors include th e following: (a) ineffectual adult role models, (b) the declining significance of church and family, (c) premat ure parenting, (d) economic difficulties, (e) decreasing school and community re sources, (f) the distant temper ament of urban environments (Day-Vines & Day-Hairston, 2005). The poor outcome s that come with the conflict between the values of African American culture and those of the majority culture include aggression, substance use, illegal behavior, and poor academic performance. Such conflict in values may also explain the acting tough behavior in Afri can American adolescent males. Indeed, these males are expected to be tough and not display evidence of vuln erability. While appearing tough, these adolescents may internalize feelings of sadness, insecurity, fear, or self-doubt (Day-Vines 16

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& Day-Hairston, 2005). The stress asso ciated with such internaliza tion may lead to self-defeating behavior such as delinquency, a ggression, and school problems. Risk and Resilience Risk factors can be the result of multiple st ressful life events, one single traumatic event, and/or an accumulation of stress from various personal and environmental sources (Place, Reynolds, Cousins, & ONeill, 2002, p. 162). Much re search has explored th e effect of different risk factors, such as stress, on the well-being of adolescents. However, there are problems with research focusing on risk factors (Howard, Dryden, and Johnson, 1999). First, most youth labeled at-risk are usually labe led as a result of differences fr om the majority culture with regard to appearance, values, home life, or fami ly structures. This leads to stigmatization or labeling of the youth, family, and community. Second, many practitioners use unfamiliar or antisocial behavior as a basis for defining a yout h as at-risk. This pr actice ignores the quiet, withdrawn youth who present with no behavior problems but may exhibit unhealthy internalizing behavior. Third, research aimed at evaluating vulnerable or at-risk youth usually utilizes a deficit model in which the participan ts are perceived as deficient. Howard et al., (2002) stressed that the defi cit model facilitates programs that focus on changing the youth rather than th e systems that interact with that youth. Although the risk approach has yielded productive and valuable in terventions, the deficit model presents some disadvantages such as viewing the child as the problem (i.e. blaming the victim) and identifying a problem after poor behavior has occurred (Howar d et al., 1999). Constan tine, Benard, and Diaz (1999) also stress that risk-focused research obscures ability to r ecognize a youths strengths, leaves youth advocates feeling hopel ess, and does not inform service providers as to what is most effective in working with these youth. 17

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In order to avoid the blaming the victim syndrome, many researchers are employing an asset-focused approach to research (Benard, 1995). This approach allows researchers to capitalize on strengths, protection, and assets as it moves be yond identification of risk factors. This asset-driven research identifies resilience as the ability to adapt well in the face of major life stress (Howard et al., 1999). Res earch on resilience permits movement from fixing the child to identifying the positive factors th at facilitate adaptation. There is an emphasis on strengthening youth in addition to their home, schools, a nd communities (Krovetz, 1999). Thus, the assetfocused approach is proactive as it builds upon prot ective factors, the qualitie s that contribute to successful adaptation and resilience. While risk factors hinder resilience, protective factors foster the development of resilience. This fostering of resilience is achieved by d ecreasing the likelihood of undesirable outcomes. The protective processes permit stress-affected individuals to manifest surprising levels of external competence, distinguishing resilient ch ildren from their high stress but incompetent counterparts (DImperio, Dubow, & Ippolito, 2000, p. 130). Protective factors moderate the relationship that exists between stress and psyc hological well-being so that individuals may be competent based on observable social adaptati on (DImperio et al., 2000). This protective process reduces the likelihood of maladjustment (i.e. internalizi ng and externalizing behaviors) that can transpire among highly stressed individuals. Protective factors are commonly classified as individual personality attributes, family characteristics, and environmental influences (Benard, 1999). Benards (1991) synthesis of resilience research outlined some factors in each domain. First, individual factors included social competence, autonomy, problem-solving skills and sense of purpose and future. Second, protective factors within the family included caring and support, high expectations, and 18

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encouragement of participation in extracurric ular activities. Third, environmental factors included caring and support, hi gh expectations, and opportuniti es for participation. Some protective factors delineated in previous research studies include high self-esteem (Cowen, Wyman, & Work, 1996), supportive family members, and positive role models (Cowen & Work, 1988). A Multicultural Model of Stress Based upon the traditional stress model of Lazarus and Folkman (1984), Slavin, Rainer, McCreary, and Gowda (1991) expanded the stress m odel to include culturalrelevant dimensions at each stage of the stress process. The traditi onal stress model is comprised of five major elements: (a) occurrence of one or more stressful events, (b) pr imary appraisal of each stressful event, (c) appraisal of coping re sources, (d) implementation of c oping efforts and strategies, and (e) manifestation of adaptational outcomes (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). The model set forth by Slavin et al. (1991), the Multicult ural Model of the Stress Process, gives explicit attention to the role of culture in each element of the stress experience as it emphasizes the social embeddedness of each individual. According to Slavin et al. (1991), culture-relevant dime nsions critical to the standard components of the stre ss model established by Lazarus and Folkman (1984) include the following: events related to minority status, the cultural definition of the stressful event, the cultural frame for understanding th e event, cultural beliefs/val ues, ethnic identity, cultural definition of behavior, social network, culture-specific coping behavior s, biculturation, and cultural norms. Slavin et al. (1991) emphasize the importance of res earchers using culturespecific models to understand how culturally different individuals adjust to stress. 19

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Statement of the Problem Middle and high school students constantly have to cope with the multiple pressures of adolescence. African American adolescents may experience even more pressures, as they must cope with the burdens of belonging to the mainst ream, identifying with their own culture, and/or being a member of an oppressed group. Friedman (1995) underscored the a dditional stress that many African American adolescents face: Adolescent independence, competitivene ss, non-differentiation between the sexes, and professional intervention are so metimes promoted at the expense of familial decision-making, cooperativeness, respect for elders, social cohesion, and differentiated roles for each gender (p. 5). Many studies have provided evidence for the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behaviors (Jackson & Warren, 2000; Hoffman & Su, 1997; Vaux & Ruggiero, 1983). The protective processes that facilitate positive adaptation in the face of adversity enable adolescents to progress toward successful and ad aptive functioning. Research must be aimed at identification of the protective f actors that reduce the chance of risk and increase the likelihood of resilience among African American youth. Purpose of the Study Much of the resilience literature is limited by its emphasis on White Americans (Arrington & Wilson, 2000). Few studies have explored the construct of re silience among African American adolescents. Taylor, Seaton, and Rodriguez (2002) stress the need for more research linking culture to adolescent adjustment, as culturally ba sed patterns may be sources of strength for culturally different youth. Arringt on and Wilson (2000) further emphasized that research on resilience in ethnic minority youth wo uld be more beneficial if the framework of such research employed theories that encompass culture and dive rsity. While several studies have explored the role of cultural variables in stress resilience (Miller, 1999; Grady, 2004; Grant, et al., 2000), 20

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these studies did not utilize a th eoretical foundation that entails the cultural context of stress resilience. The current study sought to understand stress resilience among a sample of African American adolescents using a cultu rally relevant theory of stress. Specifically, the current study utilized the Multicultural Model of the Stress Process outlined by Slavin et al. (1991). In sum, this model asserts that the role of culture-specific variables must be c onsidered when exploring how stress may affect adaptive ou tcomes in ethnic minority populat ions. Consistent with this model and using a culture-specific stress measure, the current study explor ed the role of ethnic identity, Africentric values, a nd Africultural coping styles in stress resilience among African American adolescents. Identification of culture-specific protective fact ors in the process of resilience will assist school administrators, community programs, policym akers, and mental health professionals in enhancing the development of protective processe s among adolescents. Resilience research will also promote policies aimed at shifting education, mental health, and co mmunity programs from crisis intervention to primary prevention. In addition, such res earch will promote a shift from preventing youth problems to endorsement of youth development (Schoon & Bynner, 2003). Examining resilience through empirical rese arch can lead to the development of interventions to improve the life chances of ch ildren and adolescents by reducing the impact of risk factors and ensuring that effective protectiv e factors are developed in these youth. This is because such research typically focuses on identify ing specific internal and external assets that promote healthy youth development (Benard, 1991). It is also noteworth y that whereas riskfocused research often leads to interventions to modify problem behavi or, resilience-focused research often leads to more proactive interventi ons that protect against the development of such problems. More specifically, the identification of culture-specific protective factors can lead to 21

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interventions that foster positive attributes, such as problem-solving skills, social competency, sense of purpose, and essential awaren ess of oppression (Arrington & Wilson, 2000). 22

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW This literature review is organized into five sections. The first section discusses stress and resilience during adolescence and presents a review of the literature that addresses these constructs. Second, the literature on the relations hip between ethnic identit y and stress resilience is discussed. Third, the literature on Africentric va lues as a protective factor in stress resilience is presented. Fourth, the research findings having to do with coping style as a protective factor in stress resilience are discussed. Finally, the hypotheses of the current study are stated. Stress and Resilience in Adolescents Research has revealed a consistent rela tionship between stressful life events and emotional and behavioral problems. For exam ple, Jackson and Warren (2000) discovered a positive relationship between stressful life events and externalizing behaviors (i.e. aggression, hyperactivity, and conduct problems). Hoffma n and Su (1997) found that life stressors significantly predicted delinquency, while Vaux and Ruggiero (1983) demonstrated a relationship between stressful life events and delinquency incl uding violence, property damage, drug use, theft, and nonserious delinquent behavior Studies also indicate that stressors increase risk for internalizing symptoms, such as depression and anxiety (Dornbusch, Mont-Reynaud, Ritter, Chen, & Steinberg, 1991). Mo reover, the stress experienced by adolescents can affect the developmental process and can promote inte rnalizing and external izing behaviors. Transactional Stress Model Lazarus and Folkman (1984) proposed a transa ctional model of the stress process. The model is comprised of five major components: (a ) occurrence of a stressf ul event, (b) primary cognitive appraisal of the events, (c) sec ondary cognitive appraisa l of the event, (d) implementation of a coping strategy, and (e) physical and mental outcomes. The term event 23

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applies to both major life change s and minor life incidents as we ll as ongoing life situations. In the primary appraisal phase, it is determined wh ether or not the event is a threat. The event may be appraised as irrelevant, be nign, or stressful. In the sec ondary cognitive appraisal, the availability of both internal a nd external resources is evalua ted. Such resources may include intelligence or social support. The coping strategy selected may be problem-focused or emotionfocused. Problem-focused strategies focus on changing the stressful situation. On the other hand, emotion-focused strategies, such as relaxati on, include making efforts to control emotional responses to the event. Multicultural Model of the Stress Process While Lazarus and Folkmans (1984) model has been used to explore stress among various populations, there are some noted limitations. Th e model has been described as reflecting cultural biases in its basic assumptions (Slavin, Rainer, McCreary, & Gowda, 1991). The models assumptions reflect Eurocentric culture, which is oriented toward independence and individual mastery. However, some ethnic groups stress harmony and collective well-being (Nobles, 1976). Therefore, a stre ss model must also consider the social embeddedness of an individual. To gain a better unde rstanding of the stress process in ethnic minority individuals, Slavin et al. (1991) proposed the Multicultural Model of the Stress Pro cess, building upon the traditional stress model. Slavin et al. (1991) identified several culture -relevant dimensions of the stress process. First, cultural group membership may affect the nature and frequency of potential stressful events. Prospective stressors may be related to being a minority. For example, members may be more likely to experience both overt and covert discrimination. Since many minority cultural groups are often concentrated in low socioeconomi c areas, some stressful events may occur more frequently for the poor and those lacking politi cal power. Furthermore, many stressful events 24

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may be directly related to the unique traditions of that group. In other words, the stressful event may be greatly influenced by membersh ip in a particular cultural group. Second, Slavin et al. (1991) addressed the im pact of culture on primary and secondary cognitive appraisals. In a primary appraisal, one must consider the degree of fit between the event and the cultural frame fo r understanding that event. Th is fit may be determined by ownership of the event. Where one cultural grou p may perceive an event as being a personal issue, another culture may believe that the st ressful event is an issue for the family or community. In addition, the primary appraisal may be impacted by concern about the possibility of cultural harassment increasing the stress related to an othe rwise benign event. Cultural group membership can also affect a secondary appraisa l by influencing ideas ab out the appropriate way to handle a given situation. Beliefs associated with a particular culture may affect appraisal of coping options. Third, coping efforts can also be affected by culture-specific copi ng behaviors, cultural values for or against particular coping strategi es, and the experience of biculturation (i.e. demand to function in multiple cultural se ttings). Therefore, Slavin, et al, (1991) recommend that the influence of culture on the stre ss process be considered when conducting research with ethnic minority individuals. The Multicultural Model of the Stress Process (Slavin et al., 1991) considers how stress may affect adaptive outcomes in ethnic minority populations and, as a result, provided the theoreti cal basis for this study. Resilience Resilience was first conceptua lized by Werner (1984) and was defined as the ability to cope effectively with stress and to exhibit an unusual degree of psychol ogical strength for ones age and set of circumstances (ODonnell, Schwab-Stone & Muyeed, 2002, p. 1266). The definition of resilience has expanded and the term has been used to describe the capacity of 25

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individuals exposed to risk factors to overcome those risk s and avoid negative outcomes (Arrington, & Wilson, 2002). Such undesirable ou tcomes may include delinquency, academic problems, or psychological maladjustment (H auser, Vieyra, Jacobson, & Wertlieb, 1985). According to Winfield (1994), resilience is the relative strength of indivi dual characteristics and external protective processes (supports provide d by school staff, commu nities, and families) compared to the influence of risks and vulnerabili ties in the external envi ronment (p. 2). Foster (1997) identifies resilience as positive change s in maintaining active or latent coping and adaptation capacities through vari ous mechanismsthat may not be immediately apparent but become evident over time (p. 190). The term resilience has often been used intercha ngeably with adaptation, positive adjustment, positive coping, or competence (Fergus & Zimmerman, 2005). In addition, it has often been conceptualized in the research litera ture as academic achievement, positive behavioral adjustment, absence of psychopathology, or in tellectual functioning (Harvey & Delfabbro, 2004). However, although resilience has been measur ed in various ways, it generally refers to manifested competence in the presence of oppos ition to adaptation (Arrington & Wilson, 2002). Luthar, Ciccheti, and Becker (2000) fu rther explained that resilience has a multidimensional nature. Resilience does not repres ent invulnerability. Resilient adolescents may still experience difficulty coping with some stressf ul life events. For example, it is possible for a youth to display educational resilience, while str uggling with emotional or behavioral resilience. The ability to adapt to a stressful encounter may not apply in all domains of the youths life. Therefore, it is important that the particular dom ain of resilience be assessed and clarified. On the other hand, Garmezy (1983) emphasized that successful adaptation in one situation intensifies future coping ability. 26

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In order to identify resilience, two conditions must occur (Garmezy, 1983). First, there must be a significant threat to th e individual, usually identified by high risk or exposure to severe adversity (i.e. stressful experiences ). The risk factor must be such that there is likelihood of a poor outcome. These risk factors may be found within the child, family, community, and/or societal structures (Armstrong, Birnie-Lefcovitc h, & Ungar, 2005). Second, there is positive adaptation despite major adversity (i.e. low intern alizing and externalizi ng behavior). According to this delineation, simply positive outcomes are not sufficient to conclude resilience. Resilient individuals are able to thrive in spite of distressing life experien ces. It is through the presence of protective factors that the individual is able to adapt in a particular stressful event. Therefore, resilience must not be co nfined strictly to the individual. In stead, resilience is a process that occurs when an individual react s to risk factors experienced in the environment (Winfield, 1995). Resilience is the product of i ndividual characteristics and the environmental experiences. Classic Resilience Research Studies Research concerning the resilience phenom enon can be delineated into three main categories within psychological literature (Masten, Best, & Ga rmezy, 1990). The first category entails studies of individual differences in trauma recovery. The s econd category of resilience research involves studying individuals from high-risk groups who obtai ned better behavioral outcomes than expected. The final category is comp rised of studies explori ng the ability to adapt despite stressful experiences. Rutter (1979) conducted a ten-y ear study that falls into the first category of resilience research. The study explored the resilient qualities youth who eith er had parents diagnosed with a mental illness, experienced family discord, we re classified as having a low socioeconomic status, or had been placed in government care. Th e participants resided in the Isle of Wright (England) and inner city London. Interviews reve aled that many of the children developed 27

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unharmed (i.e. resilient) as evidenced by no de velopment of mental illness themselves nor presentation of maladaptive behavior. The re silient attributes included being female, selfefficacy, self-mastery, planning ski lls, close relationship with an a dult, and easy temperament. In addition, the school environment included protecti ve factors such as fostering a sense of achievement, enhancing personal growt h, and increasing social contacts. Werner and Smith (1977) conducte d a study of resilience that falls into the second category of resilience research. In this longitudina l study, researchers followed high-risk Hawaiian children into adulthood. Many of the children were high risk due to certain environmental factors such as biological and prenatal stress, parent al psychopathology, and family instability/discord. One third of the studys high -risk participants did well despite the risk factors. Individuals were classi fied as resilient if they did not develop serious problems. The personal characteristics that fostered the resilien ce of the sample included tolerant, adaptable, being socially responsible, positive self-esteem, robustness, being female, achievement oriented, and good communication skills. The resilient participants also had support within and outside the family unit. The third category of resilienc e research was illustrated by Garmezy, Masten, and Tellegen (1984). These researchers conducte d a ten-year study that focuse d on the impact of stressors on competency levels of elementary school stude nts from urban environments in the mainland United States. Approximately two hundred children and their families participated in the study. Stress resistance was assessed through an exam ination of stressful life events and overall competence. School-based competence was assessed based on academic achievement, classroom behavior, intelligence test scores, and peer ratings of interpersonal competence. Child competence was evaluated through in-depth interviews with parents regarding the childs 28

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strengths and family structure. Results indicated that many di sadvantaged children displayed competence and did not engage in problem behaviors. Children with lower IQs and socioeconomic status and less positive family ch aracteristics were less competent and more likely to engage in disruptive behavior. This study led the research ers to conduct follow-up studies to examine why some disadvantaged children did not succumb to adversity. Contemporary Studies of Resilience Magnus, Cowen, Wyman, Fagen, and Work (1999) conducted a study to differentiate stress-affected and stress-resilient outcomes among African American and White American children. The sample included 125 fourth to sixth grade children at nine inner-city schools. The measures that were administered to this sa mple assessed stressful life events, parent and teachers ratings of child adjustment, school adjustment, perceived competence, self-esteem, locus of control, empathy, coping strategies, depression, anxiety, social problem solving, and realistic control (i.e. beliefs about ones ability to control contro llable and uncontrollable events). Participants were classified as stress-resilient based on the following criteria: (a) experiencing more than four stressful life events, (b) falling in the top third on two of the three adjustment screens (i.e. parents, current te achers, and prior year teachers) and, (c) falling no worse than the middle third on the third screen. I ndividuals classified as stress-affected had to be in the bottom third on at least two of the thre e screens and no better than the mi ddle third on the other. In both racial groups, stress-resilient vers us stress-affected differentiators included self-rated adjustment, empathy, and realistic control. In addition, copi ng style was a differentiator (i.e. positive coping for White children and negative coping for African American children) related to resilient outcomes. Positive coping (i.e. self-rel iance and support seeking) was significantly related to resilience for White participants, and negative copi ng (i.e. immobilization, wishful thinking, and distancing) was signi ficantly correlated with resili ence for Black participants. For 29

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the African American children sample, social acceptance and behavioral conduct were also differentiators, while scholastic competence and physical appearance were differentiators for children in the White sample. Markstrom, Marshall, and Tryon (2000) conducted a study on social support and resiliency in a sample of one hundred thirteen rural, lowincome African American and White adolescents. Participants resided in rural towns, had hous ehold incomes below $20,795, and were in the tenth grade. Completed questionnaires assessed ego st rengths, perceived soci al support, and coping style. Resiliency was assessed by the Psychosocia l Inventory of Egos Strengths (Markstrom, Sabino, Turner, & Berman, 1997). Correlational anal yses indicated signif icant correlations between family and friend social support and resiliency for the total sample. This study emphasized the importance of family and friend so cial support in regards to ego strengths (i.e. hope, will, purpose, competence, fi delity, love, care, and wisdom). Flores, Cicchetti, and Rogosch (2005) examined the predictors of resilience in maltreated and nonmaltreated Latino childre n. Participants included 133 Latino youth who attended a summer day camp research program designed for low-income, disadvantaged children. The adolescents completed questionnaires assessi ng maltreatment experiences, interpersonal functioning, social behavior, teach er relationships, ego resiliency, ego control, and receptive vocabulary. In this study, resi lience was defined by adaptive functioning including social competence and behavioral symptomatology. Social competence evaluations were obtained from peers and camp counselors while behavioral symptomatology ev aluations were obtained from camp counselors only. Children were grouped into three levels: high, medium, and low adaptive functioning. Personal resources assessed as pred ictive of resilient functioning included ego resiliency, ego-control, receptive vocabulary, and ability to form a relationship with a camp 30

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counselor. Analyses indicated that ego resilienc y, ego control, and ability to form a positive relationship with an adult predic ted resiliency in the sample. The role of social support from parent, sc hool, and peers in multidimensional resilience was explored in a study by ODonnell, Schwab-St one, and Muyeed (2002). Participants included 1,855 students (42% Black) exposed to community violence, eith er victimized or witnessed. Indices of resilience included futu re expectations, self -reliance, interpersonal relations, substance abuse, delinquency/school misconduct, depression/anxiety, and somatizat ion. Studied protective factors included parent suppor t (i.e. parent communication, pa rent concern, and parental supervision), peer support, and school support (i.e attachment to school, teacher support, and academic motivation). For the non-exposed group, school support was a significant predictor of future expectations and interpersonal relations. For the sample of youth who witnessed violence, results were as follows: (a) parent support was a statistically significant relationship with all domains of resilience except soma tization, (b) school support predic ted resilience in all domains except depression and somatization, and (c) higher levels of peer support led to lower substance abuse, school misconduct, and depression. Amon g the youth victimized by violence, parent support significantly predicted all domains of resilience, a nd school support significantly predicted resilience against substance abuse and school misconduct. In addition, peer support predicted lowed levels of resilience against substance abuse and school misconduct, and peer support predicted higher levels of future expectat ions, self-reliance, and interpersonal relations. This study evidenced the importance of social support promoting resilience among at-risk youth. Cunningham (2005) explored prot ective factors in regards to emotional and behavioral resilience in a sample of multir acial, high school adolescents. One hundred fifty-six adolescents 31

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participated in the study and completed assessm ents of adjustment, family coping, religious coping, sense of school membership, neighborho od experiences, and economic hardship. Sixtyfive participants met the criteria for economic disadvantage. Resilience was defined as having low levels of maladaptive f unctioning. In the economically disadvantaged group, results indicated that sense of school membership was i nversely related to anti social behavior while religious coping behaviors were predictive of d ecreased anger management problems. In the full sample, sense of school membership was inversel y related to antisocial behavior and problems with anger control. In additi on, the use of positive coping strate gies was predictive of a more positive sense of self and inversely related to emotional distress. This study highlighted some protective factors that may serve as buffers in the stress process experienced by economically disadvantaged adolescents. Cultural Context of Resilience Stressful events, which are also considered risk factors, are experienced by everyone in their development. However, African American youth often experience a dditional risk factors such as racism, prejudice, and discrimination. Cu lture and ethnicity interact with psychological development and adversity so that people e xperience risk differently (Arrington & Wilson, 2000, p. 226). Each culture consists of socially transmitted ideas and feelings that shape ones behavior, organize ones perceptions, and labe l ones experiences (Lu, Lim, & Mezzich, 1995). Culture embodies a worldview developed throug h beliefs, values, and practices, and it is informed by historical and political forces (A merican Psychological A ssociation, 2003). It is within this cultural context that resources for stress resilience are embedded. The cultural norms of group members foster survival of adversity, adju stment to the environment, and the future of the culture (Arrington & Wilson, 2000). 32

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Cultures may differ in regards to what valu es are central to each of them. Friedman (1999) identified common cultura l conflicts: (1) empha sis on the individual versus emphasis on the family, (2) autonomy versus independence, (3 ) youth culture versus respect for elders, (4) unisex versus gender differences, (5) individualis m versus a communal style, and (6) competition versus competition. The philosophical underpinning of the African /African-American cultural worldview focuses on the metaphysical rather than purel y on physical interrelationships. The nine dimensions outlining the Africultural orientat ion include spirituality, affect, communication, orality, verve, social time perspective, harmony, movement, and expressive individualism (Boykin & Ellison, 1995). Adherence to these traditi onal cultural values and beliefs may serve as a source of strength that facilitates the mainte nance of stress resilien ce in Black adolescents (Berardo, 1991). Culture has been described as a sustaining sy stem that nourishes a human being like the roots that sustain and nourish a plant (Falicov, 1996, p.170). Carlo, Fabes, Laible, and Kupanoff (1999) stressed the importance of studying the impact of culture and ethnic ity on the prosocial and moral development of the adolescent. Additionally, the multicultural guidelines outlined by the American Psychological Association (2003 ) emphasize the need to expand psychological research to consider the psychological contextual factors of the cultural dimensions of personal experience. The guidelines explain that culture is a central and sp ecific contextual variable that may lead to more effective inte rvention and prevention programs. The cultural context of stress re silience must be considered and understood to facilitate positive mental health outcomes for todays cultur ally different adolescent. The Multicultural Model of the Stress Process (S lavin et al., 1991) acknowledges the impact of cultural group 33

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membership on the experience, appraisal, and ma nifestation of stressful events. This model provided the theoretical foundation in the current study, which was designed to explore the roles of culturally relevant dimensions, specifically et hnic identity, Africentric values (i.e. cultural beliefs), and Africultural coping st yle (i.e. culture-specific coping strategy) in stress resilience. Stress resilience was conceptualized as lower levels of externaliz ing and internalizing behaviors despite the presence of several stressful life events. These cultura lly relevant factors will now be discussed in detail. Ethnic Identity Identity Formation in Adolescence The primary developmental task of adolesce nce is identity development. According to Erikson (1968), adolescents are at the stage of identity versus identity diffusion. Adolescents at this stage possess the mental capacity to tackle the task of achieving a balanced sense of identity. The process of identity formation is affected by the interpersonal, intrapersonal, and environmental characteristics along with the in teractions of signifi cant elements of an adolescents unique world (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Achieving a sense of identity is characterized by exploration and commitment to an identity (Spencer & Markstrom-Adams, 1990, p. 297). Erikson (1968) emphasized three problems that may occur in identity formation: identity diffusion, identity foreclosure, and negative identity. First, identity diffusion may occur, which refers to development of a disjointed or incomp lete sense of self. The severity of diffusion may vary from mild to severe. Second, adolescents may e xperience identity foreclosure; that is, they may bypass, willingly or unwillingly, the period of exploration that precedes formation of a healthy sense of identity. These youth may take on the identity set by parents or authority 34

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figures. Third, the problem of negative identity may occur, which involves selecting an identity unfavorable to parents or community. This decision may be the result of efforts to self-define. Identity in Ethnic Minority Youth While adolescent development presents many ch allenges for youth, it can be particularly stressful for adolescents bel onging to ethnic minority groups, as the course of identity development varies across cultures (Kroger, 1993). The adolescent is confronted with the ethnic beliefs and values of her/his parents and the of ten conflicting beliefs and values of mainstream society. The culturally different adolescent begins to examine the meaning of his or her own ethnicity and status as a culturally different group member (Phinney & Chavira, 1995). Additionally, individual identity formation for culturally different youth may be affected by government policies, media stereoty pes, institutional racism, and/or societal values. Stereotypes associated with cultural group status often stem from larger society and pervade various domains of the environment in which th ese adolescents function. Therefor e, extra culture group related stress may exist throughout development of the culturally different adolescent. Traditional Racial Identity Models One of the most widely used models of r acial identity development is Cross model of Nigrescence (1971, 1991), which is comprised of five stages. In the first stage of preencounter, race is not considered an important component of identity. The second stage, encounter, involves an overwhelming experience or series of events linked to race leading to a reexamination of current identity. As an individua l enters the third stage, imme rsion/emersion, extreme pro-Black and anti-White attitudes emerge. The fourth stage, internalization, is characterized by feelings of security and satisfaction about being Black while acknowledging the positives and negatives about being Black. In the fifth and final stage, in ternalization-commitment, there is a translation of internalized identity into action. 35

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Parham and Helms (1985) revised Cross m odel of Nigrescence ( 1971) and proposed four stages of racial identity: preen counter, encounter, immersion/emer sion, and internalization. In the preencounter stage, the individua l does not view race as important and views the world from a Eurocentric frame of reference. A dreadful personal or social event moves the individual to the encounter stage as the apprecia tion of Blackness begins. In the stage of immersion/ emersion, the individual rids self of the old frame of reference, and there is a focus on everything representing Blackness. The final stage of intern alization represents a resolution of racial identity conflict as anti-white attitudes decrease and a sense of inner security develops. Although these traditional racial identity m odels have been widely used to guide psychological research, some researchers have challenged the focus on the racial identity construct. For example, Parham (2002) encourages a shift from racial identity to ethnic identity due to racial identitys focus on phenotypical tr aits as the most salient feature of identity. McMahon and Watts (2002) further emphasized the di fference between racial identity and ethnic identity: Racial identity focuses more on the social and political impact of visible group membership on psychological functioning. Et hnicity refers to a shared worldview, language and set of behaviors that is associated with a cultural heritage (p. 412). Parham (2002) and other researchers (Cokley 2002; Hilliard, 1997; Nobles, 1998) stress that identity among African Americans can be best understood through a focus on ethnic identity and adherence to an Afri centric worldview. Ethnic Identity Formation Ethnic identity addresses the sense of identif ication with, or sense of belonging to, ones ethnic group. The importance of understanding ethnic identity is delineated by Phinney (1990) as follows: 36

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Attitudes towards ones ethnicity are central to the psychological functioning of those who live in societies where th eir group and its culture are at best poorly represented (politically, economically, and in the media) and are at worst discriminated against or even attacked verbally and physically; the con cept of ethnic identity provides a way of understanding the need to assert oneself in the face of threat s to ones identity (p. 499). Phinney (1989) proposed a three-stage progressi on model of ethnic identity formation. This model proposes that adolescents or adults who have not been expos ed to issues addressing ethnic identity are in the first stage called unexamined ethnic identity. This stage may be characterized by a preference for the dominant culture. Although the child knows what race or ethnicity she/he belongs to, that race or ethnic ity has low salience. The adoles cent may give little thought to ethnicity. It is also possible th at the youth has grasped positive et hnic attitudes from parents or other like individuals and may not show a preference for the majority group. Cross (1991) explained that unexamined ethnic identity might be expressed by low salience, social stigma associated with ethnic group, negative reference gr oup orientation in which negative stereotypes are endorsed or believed, or Eurocentric cultu ral perspectives due to being a product of a monoracial or monocultural system. Stage two of Phinneys (1989) progression m odel involves an exploration of personal ethnicity that may be initiated by a significan t experience that demands awareness of ones ethnicity. The adolescent realiz es that individuals are sometime s treated differently or unfairly because of their ethnicity. Adolescents in the se cond stage may immerse themselves in their own culture by engaging in consciousness-raising acti vities such as attendi ng cultural events or reading information concerning their culture The youth comes to understand the social significance of ethnic membership and begins to develop an appreciation for the personal significance of this membership. Youth at this stage of ethnic id entity development must explore the positive aspects of their ethnic group membership, develop ways of functioning in the 37

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mainstream culture, and develop an independent sense of self (Phinne y, 1990). It is also important that racism and discrimination be con fronted as directly as possible at this stage (Casey Family Programs, 2003). The final stage of Phinneys (1989) progres sion model involves a deeper understanding and appreciation of ones ethnicit y, also known as ethnic identity achievement or internalization. This stage may require accepting that (a) cultur al differences exist between ones own culture and the dominant culture, and (b) there exists a lower or disadvantaged status of ones own culture in society (Phi nney, Lochner, & Murphy, 1990). At this stage, an adolescent must explore positive aspects of group membership, deve lop ways to function in the mainstream, and develop an independent sense of self (Cas ey Family Programs, 2003). Ethnic identity achievement involves a secure sense of oneself as a member of a minority group (Phinney, 1992). The youth acquires a positive commitment to her/his ethnic group a nd accepts the positive and negative attributes of all ethnic groups. Ho wever, achievement does not imply a high degree of ethnic involvement. In addition, the process of ethnic identity may not end with ethnic identity achievement but may continue in cycles that involve further e xploration or re thinking of the role or meaning of ones ethnicity (Phinney, 1990, p. 502). Spencer and Markstrom-Adams (1990) identif ied factors that may impede identity development in culturally different adolescents. An adolescent may endure conflicting values of the larger society and th ose of her/his culture. In addition, ther e may be a lack of adequate adult role models or socializing agents in the youths life. Negative stereotype s may interfere with a healthy ethnic identity, or the adolescent may not have culture-focused guidance from the family. All of these factors may make the task of ethnic identity formation difficult for the adolescent. In culturally different adolescents, the likelihood of achieving a positive identity may be affected by 38

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prejudice, discrimination, immigration or repl acement (loss of significant others, loss of country, uncertainty, instability ), socioeconomic reality, inst itutional barriers, acculturation (children and parents), personal impotence, societal inconsistenc y and conflicts, and developmental factors (Guanipa & Guanipa, 2003) In order for an adolescent to achieve a secure self-identity, there must be an integrati on of the ethnic identity with a personal identity (Guanipa & Guanipa, 2003). Components of Ethnic Identity Phinney (1992) identified three major components of ethnic identity that are common to all ethnic group members: self-iden tification, sense of belonging, a nd attitudes towards ones group. Self-identification connot es the ethnic label one uses for one self. This is distinguishable from ethnicity, which is considered objective group memb ership as determined by parental heritage. Individuals may use a particular ethnic label but not have a strong sense of belonging to that group. The attachment to ones ethnic group must be assessed in terms of ethnic identity. In addition to self-identification a nd a sense of belonging, individuals may have positive or negative feelings about their own cultural group. Positiv e attitudes may include pleasure, pride, and contentment. On the other hand, negative attitu des may include dissatis faction, feelings of inferiority, or desire to hide cultural membership. Phinney (1992) developed the Multigroup Ethni c Identity Measure (M EIM) based upon his three major components of ethnic identity, which were specified in the above paragraph. The measure explores ethnic identity as a general experience as opposed to as characteristics of one ethnic group. The MEIM has also been used with diverse ethnic groups. The current study used Phinneys (1992) measure to assess ethnic identi ty among a sample of African American youth. 39

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Studies on Ethnic Identity as a Protective Factor Ethnic identitys role in re silience was explored by Miller (1999) among a sample of 131 African American adolescents recruited from ur ban schools, from programs providing services to at-risk and disadvantaged youth, from a juvenile court, and through an advertisement in a local African American newspaper. Completed measures assessed perceived stress, urban hassles, racial socialization, racelessness, collective se lf-esteem, and ethnic identity. Ethnic identity was measured through use of the Multigroup Ethnic Id entity Measure (Phinn ey, 1992), a Likert-type assessment. Participants were classified as e xhibiting resilience by self-reported educational achievement (i.e. grade point average and school involvement). Ethnic identity was found to have a significant positive relationship with grade point average in the sample. The study reinforced the protective role of ethnic identity in academic resilience as defined by grade point average. In a study by Yasui, Dorham, and Dishion (2004), the relationship between ethnic identity and psychological adjustment was examined in a sample of European and African American adolescents. One hundred fifty-nine adolescents were identified as high risk or successful based upon discipline referrals, and grade point averag e. Participants completed measures of risk behaviors, depression, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, competence, and academic achievement. The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Me asure (Phinney, 1992) was used to measure ethnic identity. Analyses indicated that ethnic identity (total score) for African American participants was significantly associated with all measures of psychological adjustment in expected directions. In other words, as ethnic identity total score increased, level of depression and internalizing behaviors decreased and to tal competence, grade point average, and externalizing behaviors increased. For European Americans in the sample, ethnic identity total score significantly correlated with all dimensions of ps ychological adjustment except 40

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externalizing and internalizing be haviors. As ethnic identity increased, depression decreased and total competence and grade point average increased. The affirmation and belonging subcomponent of ethnic identity also significantly corre lated with all domai ns of psychological adjustment across both ethnic groups. However, th e ethnic identity achievement subscale of the ethnic identity measure, which indicates a secure commitment to ones ethnic group, significantly correlated with social adaptati on and emotional adjustment for the African American adolescents only. The latter finding su ggests that ethnic identity achievement is a resilience factor for African American adolesce nts. Overall, the study illustrated that ethnic identity functioned as a protec tive factor for adolescents. Roberts, Phinney, Masse, Chen, Roberts, a nd Romero (1999) studied the relationship between ethnic identity and psychological we ll-being among 5,423 students in grades six through eight. The sample included African Am erican, Central American, Chinese American, European American, Mexican American, Pakistan i American, Vietnamese American, and Pacific Islander adolescents. Ethnic group membership, et hnic identity, ethnic salience, coping ability, mastery, self-esteem, optimism, loneliness, and level of depression of these adolescents were assessed. The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (Phinney, 1992) was used to assess ethnic identity in the sample. The relationship of et hnic identity with psychological well-being was explored in the African American, European Am erican, and Mexican American adolescents. In general, across all ethnic groups, greater ethnic identity was positively associated with greater coping, self-esteem, mastery, and op timism. Ethnic identity was negatively associated with loneliness and depression. The study confirmed th e importance of consider ing the protective role of ethnic identity among adolescents. 41

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Several studies have examined ethnic iden tity among culturally diverse adolescents. Although the mentioned studies highlight the protect ive role of ethnic identity, few studies have examined ethnic identity within a stress resili ence framework (Greig, 2003). Therefore, the current study sought to examine the role of ethnic identity in stre ss resilience among a sample of African American adolescents. Africentric Values As stated by Parham (2002), identity am ong people of African descent also includes adherence to an Africentric wo rldview that has been describe d by Myers (1988) as a set of beliefs, values, and assumptions that reflect traditi onal African values. Thomas, Townsend, and Belgrave (2003) emphasize that while the adherence to Af rican cultural traditions have been affected by sociohistorical experiences, the Af ricentric worldview continues to be the core identity of contemporary African Americans. Table 2.1 illustrates how the values of the Af ricentric worldview conflicts with those of the Eurocentric worldview. Af ricentric epistemology is grounded in communalism, cooperation, ethics, spirituality, and morality. Knowledge is the result of live d experiences. On the other hand, Eurocentric epistemology places emphasis on knowledge gained through science and technology. This positivistic knowledge is expe cted to be value-free and objective. Dimensions of Africentric Worldview Randolph and Banks (1993) outlined the eigh t factors common to the Africentric worldview. These are (a) spiritu ality, (b) interpersonal orie ntation and communalism, (c) harmony, (d) time, (e) affective sensitivity, (f ) expressive communica tion and orality, (g) multidimensional perception and verve, and (h) a negativity to positivity orientation. Spirituality is the belief that a forc e greater than self exists. This force is considered more important than the material and may be manifested through worshi p, prayer, or other r ituals. Interpersonal 42

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orientation and communalism represent the import ance of interrelatedness and connection to others. The group or collective is valued above the individual. This dimension is represented by the I am because we are axiom. The belief of harmony holds that all as pects of life must be balanced and connected. The aspects of life include physical, emotional, spiritual, and vocational. Time is considered a social phenom enon. In other words, time is a consequence of interpersonal interaction and all things flow into each other. In the Afri centric perspective, the clock does not dictate an events beginning or en d. The value on affect sensitivity to emotional cues represents sensitivity to the feelings and em otional needs of others. The expression of these feelings and needs may be transmitted through both verbal and nonverbal communication. The Africentric worldview places value on expressi ve communication and orality. Oral expression has the same value as written communication and can be expressed in less di rect ways such as art and music. Multidimensional perception and verve acknowledges preference for multimodal, simultaneous learning, which includ es visual, auditory, tactile, and motor styles. The negativity to positivity orientation refers to the ability to turn a bad situa tion into a positive one and seeing the good in something bad. Africentric Worldview and Stress Jackson and Sears (1992) summarized how a dherence to an Africentric worldview may affect the experience of stress. First, the Africentric worl dview offers knowledge and an understanding of African people and their descendents. In un derstanding their own human processes and development, the Africentric perspective allows persons of African descent to know themselves in relation to other cultural gro ups. This knowledge of self can be empowering and serve as a protective factor against stress. Second, the Africentric paradigm provides a positive framework for understanding behaviors of people of African descent. The values common to the worldview may counter 43

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experiences of racism and sexism. Therefore, th e worldview may promote be neficial reactions to an oppressive society (Nobles, 1976). Third, the very nature of the Africentric wo rldview can be perceive d as a stress reducer. The worldview promotes a multidimensional and ho listic reality, which involves the integration and unification of all experience. In addition, there is a focus on both the spiritual and material aspects of life. Particularly noteworthy is that the Africentric worldview fosters intrinsic selfworth as less emphasis is placed on material and external possessions. The value of self builds self-esteem and confidence, which serve as reso urces for alleviating st ress (Lazarus & Folkman, 1884). The integration of spir itual and material reality also cultivates harmony and communalism. Individuals are not considered to be in competit ion with each other. Harmony implies peace, which is regarded as a state of minimal stress. The collective orientation of the Africentric worldview functions as a natural source of social support, which can lessen the negative effect of stress on psychological wellbeing (Thoits, 1982). In addition, the Africentric perspective places less emphasis on the future and more emphasis on a past-present time orientation. Due to less anxiety ab out the future, individuals flow with the circumstances of life. Studies of Africentric Worldvi ew as a Protective Factor Grady (2004) explored the role of the Africentric worldview in resilience among a sample of 118 African American women. Resilience was conceptualized as the reporting of psychological well-being despite exposure to stressful life events. The protective factors examined included Africentric worldview, re ligious coping style, and coping strategies. Africentric worldview was assessed using the Belief Systems Analysis Scale (Montgomery, Fine, & James-Myers, 1990). Analyses revealed that an orientation towards an Africentric worldview, collaborative coping style, and a reli gious coping style were positively associated 44

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with psychological well-being. This finding prov ides empirical support for the importance of cultural values and beliefs to resilience. Belgrave, Townsend, Cherry, and Cunningham (1997) examined whether Africentric values serve as a protective factor for nega tive drug outcomes. The study included 189 African American fourthand fifth-grade students at inner-city public schools. Participants were considered at-risk for alcohol or dug abuse due to high levels of poverty, crime, and substance abuse within their neighborhoods and communities. Students completed questionnaires assessing Africentric values, spirit uality, living situation, drug attitudes (i.e. attitudes toward drug use and perceived harmfulness of drugs), drug knowledge and drug usage. Africentric values were measured using the Childrens Africentric Valu e Scale (CAVS; Belgrave et al., 1997), which corresponds to the seven principles of Nguzo Sa ba (Karenga, 1977). The CAVS is comprised of three distinct factors: collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, and selfdetermination. Analyses indicated that Co llective Work/Responsibil ity and Cooperative Economics were significant predicto rs of drug attitudes and were associated with intolerant attitudes toward drug use. In addition, Collec tive Work/Responsibility and spirituality were significant predictors of percei ved drug harmfulness. Africentric values did not explain any variance in drug use. Spiritualit y, which is one dimension of the Africentric worldview, was also significantly associated with drug use, such that as level of spirituality increased, drug use decreased. The studys findings indica ted that (1) a relationship exis ts between Africentric values and drug use and (2) spirituality, an aspect of the Africentric worl dview, serves a protective role for African American youth. The influence of Africentric values on the psychosocial adju stment of African American children was studied by Thomas, Townsend, and Belg rave (2003). Participants were 104 fourth45

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grade students at an inner-cit y public school. The students were involved in an Africentric prevention program designed to encourage the he althy development of African American youth through the promotion of positive, prosocial ro les within the family, schools, and community Measures addressed (1) self-identif ication as defined by Africentric values and racial identity and (2) psychosocial adjustment as indicated by self-esteem, self-ratings of child behavior, and teacher ratings of child behavior. The Childrens Africentric Values Scal e (Belgrave et al., 1997) assessed adherence to an Africentric worldview. The self-ratings of child behavior addressed behavior control and school intere st while the teacher ratings of child behavior addressed child problems and child strengths. As hypothesized, it was found that a higher level of Africentric values was significantly related to a higher level of self-esteem and a lower level of problems in the classroom setting. The studies mentioned above highlight the importance of Africent ric values to the behavior of African Americans. However, th e research exploring th e protective role of Africentric values with regard to stress resilience among African American adolescents is very limited. This study sought to explor e how internalization of Africen tric values may moderate the relationship between stress a nd psychological functioning. Coping Style Lazarus and Folkman (1984) defined copi ng as constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage sp ecific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the pers on (p. 141). Coping with stress may include acceptance, tolerance, avoidance, or minimizatio n. In addition, it is not confined to solely successful attempts but includes all efforts to manage stress (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Compas (1987) explained the differences between coping resources coping styles, and coping efforts. Coping resources refe r to aspects of the self and social environment that facilitate 46

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adaptation to stress. These resources may include interpersonal skills, self-esteem, or the availability of a social network. Coping style in dicates the methods of coping used to manage a stressful situation. The style is usually consistent with personal values and beliefs. Lastly, coping efforts include the cognitive or behavioral at tempts made during a stressful situation. The resources, styles, and efforts of coping may vary across time and context. Types of Coping Folkman and Lazarus (1980) delineated tw o main types of coping problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping. Problem-focus ed coping involves intentions to act upon the stressor. Also known as primary or active coping, problem-focused coping strategies may include seeking information, seek ing support from others, or atte mpting to modify the stress. These strategies are preferred when the stressor is perceived as easily ma nipulated. On the other hand, emotion-focused (also called secondary or pa ssive) coping entails the intent to regulate the emotional state associated with the stressor. The regulation may be achieved through avoidance, cognitive reframing, or attending to positive aspects of the stressor. Emotion-focused strategies are used more often when the stressor is consid ered uncontrollable. Both types of coping styles can involve cognitive and/or behavioral strategies. Grant, OKoon, Davis, Roache, Poindext er, Armstrong, Minden, and McIntosh (2000) explored the protective role of coping strategies among 224 low-income African American adolescents. Participants completed measures assessing stressful life experiences, internalizing and externalizing symptoms, coping style, percei ved quality of parent/child relationships, and religious involvement. The Childrens Coping St rategies Checklist (Ayers, Sandler, West, & Roosa, 1996) was used to measure coping style (i.e. active coping, dist raction coping, social support-seeking coping, and avoidant coping). Regression analyses revealed avoidant coping to be a significant predic tor of externalizing behaviors for boys. Specifically, higher levels of 47

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avoidant coping were associated with lower rates of externaliz ing behaviors. Avoidant coping was the coping style that served as a protective factor in th e study. The researchers concluded that the study provided little evidence for the protective processes of individual coping strategies in a sample of African American youth. Cultural Context of Coping Daly, Jennings, Beckett, and Leashore (1995) asserted that there are culture-specific coping strategies used by African Americans at mu ltiple levels. One of these strategies is having a strong value system, which entails belief in self industrious efforts, desire and motivation to achieve, religious beliefs, self-respect and respec t for others, responsibility towards ones family, and cooperation (p. 242). A value system facilita tes successful coping. Another culture-specific coping strategy is utilizing social supports such as the extended family, non-nuclear family members, or long-time residence in the nei ghborhood. Daly et al. (1995) also stressed using extended kin and kinship networks at the comm unity level as an important culture-specific coping strategy. Utsey, Adams, and Bolden (2000) explained that current measures of coping are rooted in a European worldview as evidenced by coping being defined as either problem focused or emotion focused. Although many cultural groups exhi bit these types of coping strategies, these responses do not include the cultu re-specific behaviors and strate gies displayed by other cultural groups. Clearly, research with culturally different populations should consider the role of cultural beliefs and values in the copi ng process (Slavin et al., 1991). Only a few studies have considered how copi ng may be influenced by cultural beliefs and values (Moore & Constantine, 2005; Constantine, Donnelly, & Myers, 2002). The coping strategies used by many individu als in Western society includ e assertive self-disclosure, expressing ones own thoughts, and confronting others, as evident in problem-focused and 48

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emotion-focused coping styles (Moore & Consta ntine, p. 330). However, when adolescents positively value their cultural group, they are more likely to behave in ways consistent with the practices of that group (C onstantine et al., 2002). Coping Style of African Americans Utsey et al. (2000) explained one type of c oping style influenced by cultural worldview. Specifically, he discussed Africultural coping whic h refers to the degree to which one employs coping behaviors that are embedded in African American culture. Due to the nonexistence of measures of coping behaviors of African Americ ans and given the ethical responsibility to use cultural-specific measures in coping research, Utsey et al. (2000) developed the Africultural Coping Systems Inventory. Within the Africentric worldview, coping is considered to be an effort to maintain a sense of harmony and balance within the physical, metaphysical, collective/ communal, and the spiritual/ps ychological realms of existence (Utsey et al., 2000, p. 197). Africultural coping is comprised of four ma in components: cognitive/emotional debriefing, spiritual centered coping, collective coping, a nd ritual-centered coping. Cognitive/emotional debriefing includes efforts to manage perceived environmental stressors most likely resulting from racial oppression. Spiritual-cen tered coping entails behaviors that reflect harmony with the spiritual aspects of the universe and a relationshi p with the Creator. Collective coping refers to dependence on group activities to co pe with stressors and mainta in balance. Finally, ritualcentered coping involves the use of rituals to deal with stress. The rituals are a means to pay homage to religious deities, celebrate important life events, and/or honor role of ancestors in ones life. Very few studies have employed measures of cultural-specific strategies in exploring the protective role of coping. One such study was conducted by C onner (2003). The purpose of the research was to explore the ro les of African-centered worldv iew and African-centered coping, 49

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spirituality, collective self-esteem, and creativity in depression among Black youth. The participants included 208 Black st udents, between the ages of f ourteen and eighteen, at a public high school. African-centered c oping was assessed with the Africultural Coping Systems Inventory (Utsey et al., 2000), and the Childrens Africentric Scale (Belgrave et al., 1997) measured African-centered worldview. Regression analyses revealed a predictive relationship between African-centered coping an d depression. As level of adherence to Africultural coping increased, level of depression decreased. The st udy also found that the other culture-specific variables (i.e. African-centered worldview, spirituality, and colle ctive self-esteem) significantly predicted lower levels of de pression in the sample of Bl ack adolescents. These findings underscore the importance of exploring culture-sp ecific factors in the psychological outcomes of Black youth. Our Study Grant et al. (2000) stressed the need for res earch identifying protec tive factors in African American children: Given the disproportionately high represen tation of African Am erican youth among individuals living in poverty, th e increased exposure to stress in the context of poverty, and the association between stress and psychologi cal symptoms, the search for protective factors that foster resilience for low-income African American youth is important (p. 390). One approach to studying resilie nce has been to explore protective factors among subgroups that experience extreme stressful life events while main taining high levels of competence (Wyman et al., 1991). This approach is reinforced by Garm ezy (1993) who emphasized the need to seek positive factors that contribute to positive outco mes in highly disadvantaged youth. However, few studies have employed this method with cultur ally different samples and within a culturally appropriate framework. 50

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The current study sought to explore cultural-specific protective factors among a sample of African American adolescents. The study empl oyed the Multicultural Model of the Stress Process (Slavin et al., 1991) to highlight the importance of cu lture in the stress process for adolescents of color. In addition, the study investigated stress resi lience within the context of the targeted population by using a measure of stress that assesses common stressors experienced by ethnic minority youth. The stress-buffering role of each culture-specific protective factor was examined. Previous studies, as mentioned in this literature review, have indi cated the importance of cultural values as protective factors in achie ving positive outcomes. However, the current study sought to gain a more thorough understanding of st ress resilience (i.e. competence despite highly stressful events) among African American youth using a culturally se nsitive theoretical foundation the Multicultural Model of the Stre ss Process (Slavin et al. 1991). This model identifies potential culturally relevant dimensi ons that may impact the experience of stress for ethnic minority youth. Cultural aspects such as ethnic identity, Afri centric values, and Africultural coping may serve as protective factors in the stress resilience among African American adolescents. The role of these factor s in the stress resilien ce of African American adolescents has not been prev iously studied using a cultura lly based model of stress. Identification of such culturally relevant protec tive factors may better inform policymakers and prevention programs about how to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes among the increasingly more culturally di verse youth in the United States. Hypotheses The following hypotheses and research questio n were tested in the current research: Hypothesis 1 : Ethnic identity will moderate th e relationship between stress and psychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing be haviors and externalizing behaviors) such 51

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that the strength of the relationship is le ssened for youth who report higher levels of ethnic identity. Hypothesis 2 : Africentric values will moderate the relationship between stress and psychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing a nd externalizing behaviors) such that the strength of the relationship is lessened for youth who report higher levels of Africentric values. Hypothesis 3 : Level of each Africultural co ping style (i.e. cognitive/emotional debriefing, spiritual-centered coping, collec tive coping, and ritualcentered coping) will moderate the relationship between stress and psychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing and externalizing behaviors) such that the strength of the relationship is lessened for youth who report higher levels of the investigated Africultural coping style (i.e. cognitive/emotional debriefing, spiritual-centered coping, co llective coping, and ritualcentered coping). Research question 1 : Is there a significant difference in level of ethnic id entity, level of Africentric values, level of each Africultural coping style (i.e. cognitive/emotional debriefing, spiritual-centered coping, collective coping, and ritual-centered coping), quantity of stressful events, or level of ps ychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing and externalizing behaviors) in association with age, gender, ethnicity (i.e. African American, Caribbean, or Latino/Hispanic-Black), curren t grade level, socioeconomic status, and number of people residing in home? Table 2-1. Africentric worldview in contrast to Eurocentric worldview Africentric worldview Eurocentric worldview Nature of reality Spiritual and material equally valued Material more important than spiritual Value placement Group orientation, cooperation, interdependence Individualism, competition, independence Relationship to nature Harmony with nature Control over nature Nature of knowledge Emphasis on self-knowledge Emphasis on external knowledge Nature of time Focus on past and present Focus on future 52

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Participants After approval by the University of Floridas Institutional Review Board, the Principal Investigator (PI) contacted the program directors at seven aca demic and social enrichment programs in South Carolina to request permission to recruit research participants from among the ninth through twelfth grade Afri can American students who part icipate in the programs. The criteria for participation in the academic enri chment programs included having an academic need, meeting United States Department of Edu cation low-income family requirement, and at least being in the ninth grade. Questionnaires were distributed to 398 interested students and collected during subsequent program meetings. All participants were informed that participation in the study was completely voluntary and a nonymous. The response rate was thirty-eight percent. The final sample included 146 participants among whom were 101 females and 45 males (Table 3-1). The age range for the participant sa mple was thirteen to eighteen, and the median age for this sample was fifteen. The distributi on of grade levels was 29.5% ninth grade, 19.2% tenth grade, 28.8 % eleventh gr ade, and 22.6% twelfth grade. Instruments A demographic questionnaire was used to obtain information including age, gender, ethnicity, current grade level, socioeconomic status, and number of people residing in ones home. A Multicultural Events Schedule for Adolescents (MESA; Gonzales, Gunnoe, Jackson, & Samaniego, 1996) was used to assess level of stress (i.e. quantity of stressful events) among adolescents. The MESA consists of ei ghty-two items that form the following eight subscales: Family trouble/change, Family conflict, Peer hassles, School hassles, Economic stress, Perceived discrimination, Language conflicts, and Violence/ Personal victimization. Respondents indicat e whether the event has occu rred within the past three months. However, only a total score for the MESA was used in this research study. A total score was calculated based on the quantity of stressful life events endorsed. Higher 53

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scores denote a higher level of stress. Sample stressful events are Your parent lost a job and You were unfairly accused of someth ing because of your race or ethnicity. The MESA has demonstrated acceptable test -retest reliability (r = 0.81) for AfricanAmerican youth. The Cronbachs alpha for this sample was .83. A Youth Self-Report (YSR; Achenbach, 1991) wa s used to assess leve l of internalizing and externalizing behaviors self-reported by th e research participants. The subscales of the 112-item YSR include internalizing behaviors, externalizing behaviors, and total problems. Only the internalizing behaviors and externalizing behaviors subscales were used in the current research. The internalizing behaviors subscale includes the following three subtests: withdrawn/ depressed, somatic compla ints, and anxious/depressed. A sample internalizing behavior item is I k eep from getting involved with others. The externalizing behaviors subscale is compri sed of the rule breaking behavior and aggressive behaviors subtests. A sample externalizing behavior item is I break rules at home, school, or elsewhere. Items on the YSR are rated using a Likert-type scale that consists of a 3-point rating scale from Not true to Very true. The measure has been normed on various ethnic/racial groups including groups of African Americans (Achenbach, 2001) Reported internal consistency of the YSR range from .71 to .95, and reported test-retest values for this measure range from .47 to .79. The internal consistency of the YSR in a study conducted with African American adolescents was .86 (Armstrong, 1999). The Cronbachs alpha for the current sample was .82 for the externalizing subscale and .76 for the internalizing beha vior subscale. A Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM; Phinney, 1992) was used to assess ethnic identity. The MEIM consists of three subscales: positive ethnic attitudes and sense of belonging, ethnic identity achievement, and et hnic behaviors or practices. The measure consists of 14 items rated on a 4-point scale fr om strongly agree to strongly disagree. The total score for the MEIM, which was used fo r the current study, is obtained by reversing negatively worded items, summing all items, and obtaining the mean. Scores can range from 4 (i.e. high ethnic identity) to 1 (i.e. low ethnic identity). A sample item is I think a lot about how my life will be affected by my ethnic group membership. The reported Cronbachs alpha for the MEIM is .81. The c onstruct validity of the MEIM is indicated by its high correlation with measures of psychological well-being, including self-esteem, coping, optimism, happiness, depression, and mastery (Roberts et al., 1999). A Childrens Africentric Values Scale (CAVS; Belgrave, et al., 1997) was used to assess cultural values among African American youth. The CAVS has 14 items that form the following three subscales: (a) collective work and responsibility, (b) cooperative economics, and (c) self-determination. Items are ranked on a three-poi nt scale: 0-No, 1Not Sure, and 2-Yes. The total CAVS score wa s used in the current research study. This total score is obtained by summing the re sponses. A high score indicates a strong endorsement of Africentric values. An ite m example on the CAVS is When possible, Black people should spend their money in Black-owned stores and shops. The Cronbachs reliability coefficient fo r the CAVS is .65 for the measure. 54

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An Africultural Coping Systems Inventory (ACSI; Utsey et al., 2000) was used to measure the culture-specific coping strategi es used by participants during stressful situations. The ACSI includes 30 items rated on a 4-point, Likert-type scale from 0 (does not apply or did not use) to 3 (used a great deal). In the first section, resp ondents think of a recent stressful event and write a brief description of it. In the second part, respondents answer the 30 items representing four coping style subscales: cognitive/emotional debriefing, spiritual-centered coping, colle ctive coping, and ritual-centered coping. Sample items are Shared my feelings with a family member or friend (collective coping), Used a cross or other object for its special powers in dealing with a problem (ritual-centered coping ), Asked someone to pray for you (spiritual-centered coping) and Tried to remove yourself from the situation (cognitive/emotional debriefing). Scores for these four distinct Africultural co ping style subscales were used in the current study. These subscales were scored by summing the item responses for each subscale. Reported Cronbachs alphas for these subscales of the ACSI range from .71 to .80. With regard to concurrent validity, the subscales of ACSI have been shown to positively and significantly correlate with measures of coping, religious problem solving, and spirituality (Utsey et al., 2004). The Cronbach s alpha for the current sample was .80 for the total measure. The Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability S cale, short form (M-CSDS[20]; Strahan & Gerbasi, 1972) was used to measure the amount of variance in the da ta obtained that is due to a participants desire to present self in a socially desirable manner. Participants responses helped determine the validity of the responses to the Assessment Battery. Reliability coefficients for the 20item M-CSDS range from .78 to .83. Procedure Before data collection, the program director s at seven academic and social enrichment programs in South Carolina were contacted to re quest permission to recruit participants for the research from among the ninth th rough twelfth grade African Amer ican students who participate in the programs. All program participants were introduced to the investigator at a program meeting and invited to participate in this study. Each potential partic ipant was offered an incentive of a pizza party or five dollars, inform ed that his/her participation would be anonymous and voluntary, and informed that all obtained info rmation would be confidential. Participants were instructed that anyone could withdraw fr om the study or refuse to answer any question. Students were informed that the purpose of the study is to explore the beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes of adolescents. The investigator read the informed consent forms aloud to program 55

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participants. Those who were interested in part icipating in the study were asked to demonstrate their interest by signing a roster or approaching investigator at the end of the meeting. Interested students were given parental in formed consent and teen assent forms and a copy of the earlier described Assessment Batter y, all of which were contained in a manila envelope. The Assessment Battery consisted of a total of 271 items. Participants were instructed to (1) read over the informed consent forms ag ain, (2) have a primary car egiver sign the parent consent form, (3) personally sign the teen asse nt form, (4) complete the enclosed Assessment Battery, and (5) return the completed packet at the next program meeting, which occurred in two to three weeks. Participants were then informed about the contents of the packet, given instructions for completing its contents, and informed that the estimated completion time for the questionnaire packet was 30-45 minutes. To ensure confidentiality, participants were instructed to not place their names on the manila envelope or the questionnaires contained in it. Each questionnaire was coded with a number to ensure the privacy of personal identity and item responses. Upon return of each manila envelope, the informed consent forms were removed from the envelope and placed in a separate box from the completed Assessment Battery. To receive the incentive offered during the introduction session, participants were aske d to immediately sign a roster upon submission of the completed/sign ed study documents. The roster was used by the investigator to distribute the incentive one week following the program meeting where completed/signed study documents were returned, which was a date designated by the program director. Overall, the studys duration was to four weeks. 56

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Table 3-1 Demographic characteristics for the participant sample Characteristic N % Age 13 14 15 16 17 18 2 28 37 41 32 6 1.4 19.2 25.3 28.1 21.9 4.1 Gender Female Male 101 45 69.2 30.8 Ethnicity African American Caribbean Latino-Hispanic Black Other 146 0 0 0 100 0 0 0 Grade level Ninth Tenth Eleventh Twelfth 43 28 42 33 29.5 19.2 28.8 22.6 Socioeconomic status Reduced-fee lunch Free lunch Neither 30 67 49 20.5 45.9 33.6 57

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The results of the analyses to test the hypothe ses and investigate the research question are reported in this chapter. Descriptive Statistics for Major Investigated Variables This section contains information regarding th e major investigated variables in the current study as outlined in Table 4-1 and Table 4-2. Explor ation of the descriptiv e data indicated that the current sample reported coping style levels that tended to be lower than the norm (Utsey, et al., 2000) and ethnic identity levels that tended to be higher than the norm (Phinney, 1992). In addition, the frequency of stressful events a nd levels of interna lizing behaviors (i.e. anxiety/depression, withdrawn be havior, and somatic complaints ) and externalizing behaviors (i.e. rule-breaking behavior and aggression) seem to be relative ly low given the possible score ranges, while Africentric values seem relativ ely high given the possi ble range of scores. Preliminary Analysis A preliminary Pearson Product Moment Correlation was performed to determine whether there were any significant corr elations among all inve stigated variables of interest and to examine the relationship between social desirability and the other studied variables (see Table 43). Findings included that frequency of stressful events had a significant positive low correlation with externalizing behavior ( r = .48, p = .00), internalizing behavior ( r = .56, p = .00), cognitive/emotional debriefing ( r = .26, p = .00), spiritual-centered coping (r = .16, p = .05), and ritual-centered coping (r = .27, p = .00). However, frequency of stre ssful events had a significant negative correlation with Africentric values ( r = -.19, p = .02). As stressful events scores increased, scores for the variables extern alizing behavior, internalizing behavior, cognitive/emotional debriefing, sp iritual-centered coping, and r itual-centered coping also 58

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increased, while endorsement of Africentric valu es decreased. Externaliz ing behavior was shown to have a significant positive low corr elation with internalizing behavior ( r = .58, p = .00) and ritual-centered coping (r = .17, p = .04), and had a significant ne gative low correlation with ethnic identity ( r = -.16, p = .05). As levels of externalizing be havior, internalizing behavior and ritual-centered coping increased, level of ethnic identity decreas ed. Internalizing behavior was found to have a significant negative lo w correlation with Africentric values ( r = -.18, p = .03) and a significant positive low correlation with cognitive/emotional debriefing ( r = .21, p = .01). As level of internalizing behavior increased, le vel of cognitive/emotional debriefing increased as level of Africentric values decreased. Africentr ic values had a signifi cant negative correlation with ritual-centered coping ( r = -.20, p = .01); that is, as level of Africentric values decreased, level of ritual-centered coping increased. It was also been shown that a significant positive correlation existed among the four coping styles (i.e. cognitive/emotional debriefi ng, spiritual-centered coping, collective coping, and ritual-centered coping). Cognitive/emotional debriefing had a significant positive correlation with spiritual-centered coping ( r = .60, p = .002), collective coping ( r = .59, p = .000), and ritualcentered coping (r = .28, p = .001). Spiritual-centered coping had a significant positive correlation with collective coping ( r = .65, p = .000) and ritual-centered coping ( r = .34, p = .000). Collective coping also had a significant pos itive correlation with ritual-centered coping ( r = .29, p = .000). As the level of one coping style increased, there were increases in the levels of the three other coping styles. The correlational analysis also revealed that social desirability had a significant negative correlation with stressful events ( r = .25, p = .002), externalizing behavior (r = .50, p = .000), and internalizing behavior ( r = .26, p = .001). In other words, as le vel of social desirability 59

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increased, the levels of stressf ul events, externalizing behavior, and internalizing behavior decreased. Therefore, social desirability was cont rolled for in the analyses used to test the hypotheses and research question. Data Analyses to Test the Studys Hypotheses The three hypotheses set forth in the curre nt study each hypothesized the existence of moderator effects. Baron and Kenny (1986) recommend conducting hierarchical multiple regression analyses to test moderator effects. Thus, these analyses were used to test the hypotheses set forth in the current study, as presented in Tables 4-4 through 4-15. In addition, centered predictor and hypothesized moderator variables (i.e. mean deviation scores) were used to reduce problems associated w ith multicollinearity (i.e. high co rrelations) among the variables in the regression analyses (Aiken & West, 1991). In each of the hierarchical multiple regression analyses conducted, the variance accounted for by social desirability was controlled for by entering social desirability at Step 1, the main effects at Step 2, a nd the interaction term at Step 3 of the hierarchical regression, as indicated in the guidelines provided by Aiken and West (1991). A significant change in R2 for the interaction term indicates a significant moderator effect. Significant interaction effects found in the hi erarchical multiple regression analyses were then examined in follow-up simple slope regres sion analyses and plots. The post hoc analyses were performed to determine which simple slopes were significantly different from zero and to confirm the conditions of the moderator for which the interaction term was significant (Aiken & West, 1991). This procedure of conducting simple regression analyses involved the criterion variable being regressed on the pr edictor, the moderator being at two standard deviations above or below the mean, and the interac tion of the predictor and moderato r. Plots were then created at two standard deviations above and below the m ean of the moderating variable. Adjusting the point at which the moderating variable is centered permits a greater examination of the 60

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significance of the relations between the predictor and the dependent variable at differing levels of the moderator (Cohen, Cohen, West, & Aiken, 2003). First, it was hypothesized that ethnic ident ity will moderate the relationship between stressful events and psychological symptoms (i.e. externalizing and interna lizing behaviors) such that the strength of the relationship is lesse ned for youth who report higher levels of ethnic identity. Social desirability accounted for a significant amount of variance in both externalizing scores ( R2 = .25, p < .01) and internalizing scores ( R2 = .07, p < .01). After controlling for social desirability, stressful ev ents and ethnic identity explained a significant amount of variance in externalizing scores ( R2 = .14, p < .01). However, the interaction term stressful events x ethnic identity did not reveal any moderating eff ects for externalizing behavior ( R2 = .01, p = .27), which suggests that ethnic identity did not moderate or lessen the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior as presented in Table 4-4. After controlling for social desi rability, stressful events and ethnic identity accounted for a significant amount of variance in internalizing scores ( R2 = .26, p < .01). When the interaction term stressful events x ethnic identity was entered, results indi cated that ethnic identity moderated the relationship between stressfu l events and internalizing behavior ( R2 = .04, p < .01) as shown in Table 4-5. Post hoc power analysis was conducted to determine the likelihood that the overall hypothesized interaction effect would be st atistically significant, given the sample size of 146 and an alpha level of .05. It was determined that the study had an adequate power of .96 to detect the overall interaction effect. In a post hoc analysis, simple slope analysis revealed that when levels of ethnic identity were higher, stressful events was significantly and positively related to internalizing behavior, B = .72, SE = .08, t (141) = 6.45, p < .001 but not at lower levels of ethnic identity, B = .17, SE = 61

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.10, t (141) = 1.71, p = .09. As illustrated in Figure 4-1, the greatest slope is present at higher levels of ethnic identity and is lowest at the lo wer levels. Participants with low levels of ethnic identity and high levels of stressf ul events reported lower levels of internalizing behavior. On the other hand, participants with high levels of ethnic identity and hi gh levels of stressful events reported higher levels of internalizing behavi or. The above findings provide partial support for hypothesis one such in that ethnic identity had a significant moderating effect on the relationship between stressful events and in ternalizing behavior as hypothesized; however, ethnic identity did not have a significant moderating effect on th e relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior as also hypothesized. Hypothesis two stated that Africentric values will moderate the relationship betw een stressful events and ps ychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing and externalizing behaviors) such that the strength of the re lationship is lessened for youth who report higher levels of Africentric valu es. Social desirability was found to account for a significant amount of variance in externalizing behaviors ( R2 = .25, p < .01) and internalizing behaviors ( R2 = .07, p < .01). After controlling for social desirability, stressful events and Africentric values accounted fo r a significant amount of variance in externalizing behavior ( R2 = .14, p < .01). Entering the interaction term stressful events x Africentric values showed that Africentric values served as a moderator in the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior ( R2 = .03, p < .05) as shown in Table 46. For internalizing behavior scores, stressful events and ethni c identity, after contro lling for social desirability, accounted for a significant amount of variance ( R2 = .26, p < .01). However, the interaction term stressful events x Africentric values did not reveal any moderating eff ects for internalizing behavior ( R2 = .00, p = .63) as shown in Table 4-7. Post hoc po wer analysis was conducted to determine the likelihood that the overall hypothesized interaction effect would be statistically significant, given 62

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the sample size of 146 and an alpha level of .05. It was determined that the study had an adequate power of .99 to detect the overall interaction effect. Simple slope regression analysis demonstrated that at lower levels of Africentric values, stressful events had a significant negative relationship with externalizing behavior, B = .51, SE = .11, t (141) = 4.83, p < .001, but not at higher levels of Africentric values, B = -.01, SE = .12, t (141) = -0.10, p = .92 (see Figure 4-2). Participants with high levels of Africentric values and high levels of stressful events reported lower levels of externa lizing behavior. On the other hand, participants with low levels of Africentric valu es and high levels of st ressful events reported higher levels of externalizing behavior. S upport for hypothesis two was partially found. While Africentric values served as a moderator for the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior as hypothe sized, it did not have a signif icant moderating effect on the relationship between stressful events and internalizing beha vior as also hypothesized. Third, it was hypothesized that the level of each Africultural coping style (i.e. cognitive/emotional debriefing, sp iritual-centered coping, collectiv e coping, and ritual-centered coping) will moderate the relations hip between stressful events and psychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing and externalizing behaviors) such that the strength of the re lationship is lessened for adolescents who report higher leve ls of the investigated Africultural coping style. Separate hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted for each type of Africultural coping style. First, social desirabili ty accounted for a significant amount of variance in externalizing behavior ( R2 = .25, p < .01) and internalizing behavior ( R2 = .07, p < .01). After controlling for social desirability, stressful events and c ognitive/emotional debriefing also accounted for a significant amount of variance in externalizing behavior ( R2 = .14, p < .01). As shown in Table 4-8, the interaction term stressful events x cognitive/emotional debriefing revealed that 63

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cognitive/emotional debriefing had a moderating (i .e. lessening) effect on the relationship between stressful events a nd externalizing behavior ( R2 = .02, p < .05). Stressful events and cognitive/emotional debriefing, afte r controlling for social desirability, were also found to significantly account for variance in internalizing behavior ( R2 = .26, p < .01). The interaction term stressful events x cognitive/emotional debriefing was significant, thus indicating that cognitive/emotional debriefing moderated (i.e. lessened) the relationship between stressful events and internalizing behavior as well ( R2 = .04, p < .01) as shown in Table 4-9. Post hoc power analysis was conducted to determin e the likelihood that th e overall hypothesized interaction effects would be sta tistically significant, given the sample size of 146 and an alpha level of .05. It was determined that the study had an adequate power of .99 and .96, respectively, to detect the overall interaction effects fo r externalizing and inte rnalizing behaviors. After controlling for social de sirability, which accounted for a significant of variance in externalizing behavior ( R2 = .25, p < .01) and internalizing behavior ( R2 = .07, p < .01), stressful events and spiritual-centered coping explained a significant amount of variance in externalizing behavior ( R2 = .15, p < .01) and internalizing behavior ( R2 = .26, p < .01). The interaction term stressful events x spiritual-centered coping was not significant, which suggests that spiritual-centered coping di d not moderate the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior ( R2 = .01, p = .24) nor the relationship be tween stressful events and internalizing behavior ( R2 = .00, p = .71), as indicated in Tables 4-10 and 4-11, respectively. Stressful events and collectiv e coping, upon controlling for social desirability which accounted for a significant of vari ance in externalizing behavior ( R2 = .25, p < .01) and internalizing behavior ( R2 = .07, p < .01), were found to account for significant amounts of variance in both externalizing behavior ( R2 = .15, p < .01) and internalizing behavior ( R2 = 64

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.26, p < .01). However, the interaction term stressful events x collective coping did not indicate any moderating effects on the relationship betwee n stressful events and externalizing behavior ( R2 = .00, p = .33) nor on the relationship between stressf ul events and internalizing behavior ( R2 = .00, p = .52) as in Tables 4-12 and 4-13, respectively. Lastly, after controlling for social desira bility, which accounted for a significant of variance in externalizing behavior ( R2 = .25, p < .01) and internalizing behavior ( R2 = .07, p < .01), stressful events and ritual-centered coping significantly accounted for variance in externalizing behavior ( R2 = .15, p < .01) and internalizing behavior ( R2 = .26, p < .01). As shown in Tables 4-14 and 4-15, respectively, the interaction term stressful events x ritualcentered coping did not reveal any mode rating effects for either externalizing behavior ( R2 = .01, p = .16) or internalizing behavior ( R2 = .01, p = .13). In the post hoc analyses to further explor e hypothesis three, simple slope analysis demonstrated that there was a significant positiv e relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior at higher leve ls of cognitive/emotional debriefing, B = .48, SE = .10, t (141) = 5.05, p < .001, but not at lower levels of cognitive/emotional debriefing, B = .05, SE = .11, t (141) = .50, p = .62, as demonstrated in Figure 4-3. Participants with low levels of cognitive/emotional debriefing and high levels of stressful events reported lower levels of externalizing behavior. Conversely, participan ts with high levels of cognitive/emotional debriefing and high levels of stressful events re ported higher levels of externalizing behavior. Post hoc analyses also revealed a signifi cant relationship between stressful events and internalizing behavior when levels of cognitive/emotional debriefing were higher, B = .69, SE = .11, t (141) = 6.34, p < .001 but not at lower levels of cognitive/emotional debriefing, B = .07, SE = .12, t (141) = .62, p = .53. Participants with low levels of cognitive/emotional debriefing and 65

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high levels of stressful events reported lower levels of internal izing behavior. On the other hand, participants with high levels of cognitive/emotional debriefing and high levels of stressful events reported higher levels of internalizing behavior. Hypothesis three was partially supported as cognitive/emotional debriefing had a moderating effect on the relationship between stressful events and internalizing behavior as well as on the relationship between stressful events and externalizing behavior. However, spiritual-centered coping, collec tive coping, and ritual-centered coping did not moderate the relationship between st ressful events and externalizing behavior nor the relationship between stressful events a nd internalizing behavior as hypothesized. Data Analysis to Test the Studys Research Question The studys research question asked whether ther e is a significant difference in the level of ethnic identity, Africentric valu es, Africultural coping styles (i.e. cognitive/ emotional debriefing, spiritual-centered coping, collective coping, or ritual-cente red coping), stressful events, internalizing behavior, and externalizing behavior in associ ation with age, gender, current grade level, and socioeconomic status. The rese arch question was addre ssed using two univariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and two multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). Social desirability was entered as a covariate in each analysis. The inde pendent variables in the ANCOVAs and MANCOVAs were age, gender, curre nt grade level, and socioeconomic status. The dependent variable in the first ANCOVA wa s ethnic identity. No significant differences were found. The second ANCOVA included Africentr ic values as the dependent variable, revealing no significant findings The dependent variables in the first MANCOVA included the four Africultural coping styles (i.e. cognitive/ emotional debr iefing, spiritual-centered coping, collective coping, or ritu al-centered coping). No significant differences were found for any of the coping styles in relation to the independent variables. Stressful events, internalizing behavior, and externalizing behavior were the depende nt variables in the second MANCOVA. The 66

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multivariate analysis revealed that gender was statistically significant, Wilks Lambda = .807, F (9,84) = 2.24, p < .05. Univariate results indicated that gender was significantly associated with level of internalizing behavior, F (1,145) = 4.78, p < .05. In the current study, female participants reported significantly higher levels of intern alizing behavior than male participants. 67

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Table 4-1 Descriptive data for majo r variables of interest in study Variable N Mean Norm Mean SD Range Stressful events 146 16.08 11.69 0-52 Externalizing behavior 146 13.23 8.51 0-36 Internalizing behavior 146 13.07 9.32 0-44 Ethnic identity 146 3.13 2.94 .48 1.57-4.00 Africentric values 146 23.81 3.73 1-28 Coping style Cognitive-emotional debriefing Spiritual-centered coping Collective coping Ritual-centered coping 146 146 146 146 16.32 10.11 10.76 1.27 19.82 14.06 13.54 4.35 7.39 5.41 5.17 2.07 0-32 0-24 0-23 0-9 Social desirability 146 10.06 3.50 1-19 Table 4-2 Means and standard de viations of major variables of interest in study by gender Variable Male Female Stressful events 17.71 (11.76) 15.35 (11.64) Externalizing behavior 12.27 (7.88) 13.66 (8.77) Internalizing behavior 10.29 (7.32) 14.31 (9.86) Ethnic identity 3.15 (.44) 3.12 (.50) Africentric values 24.47 (3.03) 23.52 (3.98) Coping style Cognitive-emotional debriefing Spiritual-centered coping Collective coping Ritual-centered coping 16.64 (6.97) 9.89 (5.60) 10.96 (4.76) .98 (1.82) 16.17 (7.60) 10.21 (5.35) 10.67 (5.36) 1.40 (2.17) Social desirability 10.31 (3.67) 9.95 (3.43) 68

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Table 4-3 Correlations of major investigated variables including social desirability Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1. Stressful events .48** .56** -.05 .19* .26** .16* .15 .27** -.25** 2. Externalizing behavior .58** -.16* .14 .09 -.09 -.10 .17* -.50** 3. Internalizing behavior -.01 .18* .21** .12 -.01 .13 -.26** 4. Ethnic identity -.12 .15 .10 .06 -.02 .16 5. Africentric values -.02 .02 .06 .20** -.06 6. Cognitiveemotional debriefing .60** .59** .28** -.04 7. Spiritualcentered coping .65** .34** .16 8. Collective coping .29** .15 9. Ritual-centered coping .11 10.Social desirability Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 Table 4-4 Effect of ethnic identity on stress and externalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -1.22 0.18 -0.50 -6.92** 0.25 0.25 47.88** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Ethnic identity 0.28 -1.56 0.05 1.17 0.38 -0.09 5.65** -1.33 0.39 0.14 16.88** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Ethnic identity 0.09 0.09 0.07 1.10 0.40 0.01 1.22 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 69

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Table 4-5 Effect of ethnic identity on stress and internalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -0.70 0.21 -0.26 -3.25** 0.07 0.07 10.54** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Ethnic identity 0.42 0.60 0.06 1.36 0.52 0.03 7.36** 0.44 0.33 0.26 27.14** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Ethnic identity 0.29 0.10 0.21 3.02* 0.37 0.04 9.14** 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 Table 4-6 Effect of Africentric values on stress and externalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -1.22 0.18 -0.50 -6.92** 0.25 0.25 47.88** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Africentric values 0.27 1.45 0.05 2.14 0.37 0.05 5.42** 0.68 0.39 0.14 16.09** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Africentric values 0.49 0.20 0.17 2.50* 0.41 0.03 6.25* 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 Table 4-7 Effect of Africentric values on stress and internalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -0.70 0.21 -0.26 -3.25** 0.07 0.07 10.54** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Africentric values 0.41 2.75 0.06 2.45 0.51 0.08 7.06** 1.12 0.33 0.26 27.87** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Africentric values 0.11 0.23 0.03 0.48 0.33 0.00 0.23 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 70

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Table 4-8 Effect of cognitive/emotional debriefing on stress and externalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -1.22 0.18 -0.50 -6.92** 0.25 0.25 47.87** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Cognitive/ emotional debriefing 0.28 -0.02 0.50 0.08 0.39 -0.02 5.51** -0.30 0.39 0.14 15.86** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Cognitive/ emotional debriefing 0.02 0.01 0.16 2.38* 0.41 0.02 5.65* 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 Table 4-9 Effect of cognitive/emotional debriefing on stress and internalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -0.70 0.21 -0.26 -3.25** 0.07 0.07 10.54** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Cognitive/ emotional debriefing 0.40 0.10 0.06 0.09 0.50 0.08 6.84** 1.09 0.33 0.26 27.83** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Cognitive/ emotional debriefing 0.02 0.01 0.20 2.99** 0.37 0.04 8.93** 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 Table 4-10 Effect of spiritual -centered coping on stress and externalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -1.22 0.18 -0.50 -6.92** 0.25 0.25 47.88** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Spiritual-centered coping 0.29 -0.15 0.05 0.11 0.40 -0.10 5.84** -1.44 0.40 0.15 17.08** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Spiritualcentered coping -0.01 0.01 -0.08 -1.19 0.40 0.01 1.42 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 71

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Table 4-11 Effect of spiritual -centered coping on stress and internalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -0.70 0.21 -0.26 -3.25** 0.07 0.07 10.54** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Spiritual-centered coping 0.41 0.11 0.06 0.12 0.51 0.06 7.01** 0.86 0.33 0.26 27.51** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Spiritualcentered coping 0.00 0.01 0.03 0.36 0.33 0.00 0.13 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 Table 4-12 Effect of collective coping on stress and externalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -1.22 0.18 -0.50 -6.92** 0.25 0.25 47.88** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Collective coping 0.29 -0.18 0.05 0.11 0.40 -0.11 5.87** -1.59 0.40 0.15 17.35** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Collective coping -0.01 0.01 -0.07 -1.00 0.40 0.00 1.00 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 Table 4-13 Effect of collective coping on the stress and internalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -0.70 0.21 -0.26 -3.25** 0.07 0.07 10.54** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Collective coping 0.43 -0.13 0.06 0.13 0.54 -0.07 7.42** -0.99 0.33 0.26 27.67** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Collective coping -0.01 0.01 -0.05 -0.66 0.33 0.00 0.54 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 72

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Table 4-14 Effect of ritual-centered coping on stress and externalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -1.22 0.18 -0.50 -6.92** 0.25 0.25 47.88** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Ritual-centered coping 0.25 0.54 0.05 0.28 0.34 0.13 4.83** 1.91 0.40 0.15 18.04** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Ritualcentered coping 0.03 0.02 0.09 1.36 0.41 0.01 1.85 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 Table 4-15 Effect of ritual-centered coping on stress and internalizing behavior Step and variable B SE B t R2 R2 F df Step 1 Social desirability -0.70 0.21 -0.26 -3.25** 0.07 0.07 10.54** 1,144 Step 2 Stress Ritual-centered coping 0.42 0.04 0.06 0.33 0.52 0.01 6.95** 0.13 0.33 0.26 27.01** 2,142 Step 3 Stress x Ritualcentered coping 0.04 0.03 0.11 1.48 0.34 0.01 2.91 1,141 Note: p <.05; ** p <.01 73

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Figure 4-1 Ethnic identity 74

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Figure 4-2 Africentric values 75

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Figure 4-3 Cognitive/emotional debriefing 76

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77 Figure 4-4 Cognitive/emotional debriefing

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this study was to explore culture-specific factors that moderate the relationship between stress and in ternalizing (i.e. anxiety/depr ession, withdrawn behavior, and somatic complaints) and external izing behaviors (i.e. rule-breaking behavior and aggression) among Black adolescents. The ultimate objective of this study was to identify culture-related protective factors for African American adolescent s. The specific factors investigated in this study included ethnic identity, Africentric valu es, and Africultural coping styles (i.e. cognitive/emotional debriefing, sp iritual-centered coping, collectiv e coping, and ritual-centered coping). This study also examined whether age, gender, current grade le vel, and socioeconomic status were significantly associated with Black adolescents levels of stress, externalizing behaviors, internalizing behaviors, ethnic identity, Africentric values and Africultural coping styles. This chapter will provide a summary of the studys findings and interpretations of the results. In addition, the implications of the rese arch, limitations of the current study, and future research directions will be addressed. The theoretical foundation for the current study was the Mul ticultural Model of Stress proposed by Slavin, et al, (1991). In sum, this model asserts that the ro le of culture-specific variables must be considered when exploring ho w stress may affect adaptive outcomes in ethnic minority populations. Based on this model, the present study considered the social embeddedness of the individual by examining culture-relevant dimensions of the stress process. The current research specifically examined (a) whether ethnic identity moderates the relationship between stress and externalizing or externaliz ing behavior, (b) whethe r Africentric values moderates the relationship between stress and ex ternalizing or externalizing behavior, and (c) 78

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whether Africentric coping style moderates the relationship between stress and externalizing or externalizing behavior. Summary and Interpretation of the Descriptive Mean and Correlation Data The sample in this study reported coping style le vels that tended to be lower than the norm mean (Utsey, et al., 2000) and ethnic identity levels that tended to be higher than the norm mean (Phinney, 1992). Additionally, the frequency of stressful events and levels of internalizing and externalizing behavior seem to be lower given the possible score rang es, while levels of Africentric values seem higher gi ven the possible range of scores It is possible that social desirability partly accounts for the lower frequenc y of externalizing and internalizing behaviors. In addition, participation in acad emic enrichment programs consisting of predominantly African American adolescents may foster higher levels of ethnic identity and Africentric values. The exploration of relationships among the i nvestigated variables revealed both expected and unexpected results. As anticipated, a str ong positive relationship existed between stressful events and externalizing and internalizing behavior, consistent with previous studies (Jackson & Warren, 2000; Hoffman & Su, 1997; Vaux & Ruggiero, 1983; Dornbus ch, et al., 1991). However, the analyses unexpectedly indicated that higher levels of stressful events was significantly associated with higher levels of cognitive/ emotional debr iefing, spiritual-centered coping, and ritual-centered coping. In addition, higher levels of ritual-centered coping were significantly associated with higher levels of externalizing be havior while higher levels of cognitive/emotional debriefing was significantly associated with hi gher levels of internalizing behavior. While unexpected, the relationship betw een coping styles and stressful events are consistent with the research of Pierre (2002) in which cognitive/emotional debriefing and ritualcentered coping were positively associated with psychological distress in a sample of African American adult males. 79

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The significant positive relationships f ound between the two coping styles (i.e. cognitive/emotional debriefing and ritual-centered coping) and ps ychological distress may be attributed to several issues. First, cognitive/emot ional debriefing reflects a coping style similar to avoidance. This domain of coping represents an adaptive reaction to e nvironmental stress and reflects a basic level of survival thrust. Second, there is the possibility that severe, major life events may elicit avoidant coping in urban youth. This coping may have short-term benefits as it provides temporary relief but it may be less effective in pr otecting against ongoing stress. Third, ritual-based coping is no t perceived as an active, problem-focused coping style. Therefore, such coping may not adequately assist in decreasing psychological sy mptoms. It is difficult to ascertain whether psychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing and extern alizing behavior) are dependent on Africultual coping style or whethe r the use of Africultura l coping style increases level of psychological symptoms While not viewed negatively in an Africentric worldview, future research should further investigate the relationship of cognitive/ emotional debriefing and ritual-centered coping with psychological symptoms. Summary and Interpretation of the Hypo theses and Research Question Results Hypothesis one proposed that ethnic identity will moderate the relationship between stress and psychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing beha viors and externalizing behaviors) such that the strength of the relatio nship is lessened for youth who repor t higher levels of ethnic identity. This hypothesis was partially supported as ethnic identity was found to have a moderating effect on the relationship between stressful events and in ternalizing behavior bu t not on the relationship between stressful events and exte rnalizing behavior. More specifi cally, results from the analyses to test hypothesis one indicated that the strength of relationshi p between stressful events and internalizing behavior was weakest at lower levels of ethnic identity than at higher levels. While ethnic identity did not buffer the effects of st ressful events on extern alizing behavior as 80

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hypothesized, the current study did reveal that highe r levels of ethnic identity was significantly correlated with lower levels of externalizi ng behavior. It should be noted that the total score on the ethnic identity measure us ed in this study does not have a direct correlation to the stages of development as proposed in Phinneys theory (1992). Moreover, college students scored higher than high school-aged adolescents on this dimension of ethnic identity in a study conducted by Phinney (1992), indicating the developmental nature of ethnic identity achieve ment. While the current sample indicated high total scores on the ethnic identity measure, it is difficult to conclude that the sample has reached the stage of identity achievement. Phinney and Chavira (1996) indicated that ethnic identity achievement is initiated between 16 and 19 years of age. The average age of the participants in this study was 15.6, suggesting that the African Am erican adolescents in this study may still be in the process of developing a secu re sense of self with regards to their ethnic group. In addition, the measure used to assess ethnic identity is a universal measure of ethnic identity. It is possible that a measure that assesses ethnic identity specifically among African Americans may have produced different results. Future research should explor e the role of the different dimensions of ethnic identity in the relationship betw een stress and psychological symptoms. Hypothesis two proposed that Africentric valu es will moderate the relationship between stress and psychological symptoms (i.e. internaliz ing and externalizing behaviors) such that the strength of the relationship is lessened for youth who report higher levels of Africentric values. Partial support for this hypothesi s was shown as Africentric values served as a moderator in the relationship between stre ssful events and externalizing behavior but did not moderate the relationship between stressf ul events and internalizing behavior As level of Africentric values increased, the effect of stressful events on ex ternalizing behavior decreased. This finding 81

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emphasizes how adherence to th e values of collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, and self-determination serves as a prot ective factor against th e effects of stressful events on externalizing behavior. These results are consistent with other studies highlighting that the endorsement of Afri can-centered principles serves as a protective factor against negative outcomes (Jagers & Mock, 1993; Nasim, Belg rave, Jagers, Wilson, & Owen 2007). However, Africentric values did not moderate the relationship between stressful events and internalizing behavior as hypothesized. It is possi ble that adherence to Africentric values is protective against rule-breaking behavior and aggression rather than intern alized stress expressed through anxiety/depression, withdrawal, or somatization. The dimens ion of collective work and responsibility emphasizes having a sense of resp onsibility for one another and working towards family and community development. As a result individuals may be less likely to engage in behavior that reflects negativel y on the group, such as aggressive or rule-breaking behaviors. It should also be noted that the measure used in th e current study, the Childrens Africentric Values Scale (Belgrave, et al., 1997), assesses only thre e of the seven principles of the Nguzo Saba (Karenga, 1977). Therefore, the re maining four principles of the Africentric paradigm (i.e. unity, purpose, creativity, and faith) are not represented in the current study. These other principles should be investigated to determine their roles in th e stress resilience process. Hypothesis three proposed that level of each Africultural coping style (i.e. cognitive/emotional debriefing, sp iritual-centered coping, collectiv e coping, and ritual-centered coping) will moderate the relationship betw een stress and psychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing and externalizing behaviors) such that the strength of the re lationship is lessened for youth who report higher levels of the investigated Africultural coping style (i.e. cognitive/emotional debriefing, sp iritual-centered coping, collectiv e coping, and ritual-centered 82

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coping). Results of the data analyses to test hypothesis three indicated that cognitive/emotional debriefing moderated the relationship between stressful events and externalizing and internalizing behavior. More sp ecifically, the strength of the relationship between stressful events and psychological symptoms (i.e. externalizing and internalizing behavior) was weakest at lower levels of cognitive/emo tional debriefing. This finding s uggests that the use of avoidance and/or distraction coping strategi es may initially serve as protective factor for African American youth as found by Grant, et al. (2000). The current study indicated that copi ng strategies that are more problem-focused might not be as immediately adaptive in the context of the stressful events experienced by urban African American youth. Th e stressors experienced by this population may be perceived as uncontrollable and therefore, pe rmit the use of more avoidant and detached coping strategies. While this coping style ma y be viewed as negative within a Western worldview, these behaviors reflect a component of su rvival thrust in an Af ricentric framework. It should also be noted that the benefits of cogn itive/emotional debriefing may be short-term in moderating the relationship between stressfu l events perceived as uncontrollable and psychological symptoms (Grant, et al., 2000). As us e of cognitive/emotional debriefing strategies increases, its effectiveness on weakening the effect of stress may also be diminished. Therefore, longitudinal research may better assist in the und erstanding of the potential moderating effect of this Africultural co ping style over time. The other coping domains of Africultural co ping style did not re veal any moderating effects, demonstrating lack of support for hypothesis three. The pa rticipants in the current study exhibited scores lower than the norm mean for each of the Africu ltural coping styles (Utsey, et al., 2004). Given the difficulty in detecting mode rating effects with nonexperimental research (McClelland & Judd, 1993), it is possible that moderating effect s would be revealed with greater 83

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statistical power, greater use of the coping styles, and/or larger sample sizes. Furthermore, each Africultural coping style was found to have a si gnificant positive relatio nship with stressful events, such that as level of stressful events increased, so did implementation of each Africultural coping style. However, due to the inability to determine causality in the investigated relationships, it is unknown whethe r frequency of stressful events facilitates greater use of Africultural coping styles or whether the use of these Africultural c oping styles increases frequency of stressful events. In each of the hierarchical multiple regressi on analyses conducted to test the research hypotheses, only stressful events emerged as a pr edictor of both external izing and internalizing behavior. This finding indicates that ethnic identity, Africentric values, and Africultural coping style do not predict psychologica l symptoms among African Ameri can youth in this sample. However, the predictive aspect of stressful events in the development of psychological symptoms calls for greater research on the m oderating and mediating factors that lessen the strength of the relationship between stress and psychological symptoms (i.e. externalizing behavior and internalizing behavior). The research question asked whether there is a significant differen ce in level of ethnic identity, level of Africentric values, level of each Africultural coping style (i.e. cognitive/ emotional debriefing, spiritual-centered coping, collective coping, and ritual-centered coping), quantity of stressful events, or level of ps ychological symptoms (i.e. internalizing and externalizing behaviors) in association with age, gender, current grade le vel, and socioeconomic status. Findings from the analyses revealed that there was a significant difference in internalizing behavior scores in association with gender. Mo re specifically, female participants reported 84

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significantly higher levels of inte rnalized behaviors than male participants. This finding is consistent with previous re search (Grant, et al., 2000). Limitations of Study Some limitations must be considered when interpreting the results of the current study. These limitations can be categorized into four groups: sampling, administration, instrumentation, and research design. First, several sampling concerns must be noted. The small sample size is a necessary consideration. Only 146 students fully participated in the study, representing a thirty-eight percent response rate. This response rate is low in comparison to other studies utilizing an urban African American adolescent population (Bolland, Lian, & Formichella, 2005; Palapattu, Kingery, & Ginsburg, 2006; Fitzpa trick, Dulin, & Piko, 2007). In a ddition, the participants were not randomly selected in this st udy. Inclusion criteria were being male or female, being a Black adolescent, and being enrolled in a grade level between ninth and twelft h grade. Participants were selected from academic enrichment programs lo cated in urban areas of a southeastern state. The majority of the students, 66%, qualified fo r freeor reduced fee lunch, indicating a high representation of individuals w ith low socioeconomic status. Wh ile the study presents valuable information, this information is not generalizable to the Black adolescent population. The current study should be replicated with a larger sample across geographical regi ons, and with various socioeconomic groups. Second, administration of the assessment battery may have negatively impacted the results of this study. While the study controlled fo r the order effect by randomly ordering the instruments in the Assessment Battery, the length of time required to complete the packets may have impacted participant respons es. It is estimated that it to ok approximately forty to fifty 85

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minutes to complete the instruments. Indee d, the number of instruments and length of completion time may have fac ilitated a fatigue factor. Third, the instruments used in the curren t study have not been widely used in the resilience research. More specifically, the Africultural Coping Systems Inventory (Utsey, et al., 2000) and the Africentric Valu es Scale for Children (Belgr ave & Townsend, 1997) have only been employed in a few studies. While these in struments are two of the very few measures exploring the domains of Africentric values and Afrocentric coping styles, more studies utilizing these specific instruments are needed. Fourth, the research design of the study presents a limitation. While the study answers the call for more research exploring variables that moderate the relationship between stress and psychological symptoms (Grant, et al., 2000), th e cross-sectional design does not permit longterm investigation of the studied variables. For example, levels of ethnic identity, Africentric values, and Africentric coping may fluctuate ove r time. Research that is longitudinal and developmental in nature may further assist in determining the specific relationship between the investigated factors, stressfu l events, externalizing behavior and internalizing behavior. Additionally, the current study expl ored emotional and behavioral resilience among a sample of African-American adolescents. Future research shoul d explore additional indi cators of resilience, such as school performance, health lifest yle, interpersonal relationships, and academic performance in relation to cultural factors. It should also be note d that the present study relied solely on the use of self-report measures. This monomethod approach to data collection may have been impacted by several confounding vari ables, such the presumption of knowledge regarding the variables of interest In addition, social desirability had a signif icant impact on selfreported externalizing behavior, internalizing be havior, and stressful events. In efforts to 86

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decrease monomethod bias and the negative imp act of socially desira ble responses, it is suggested that future investigators gather da ta from multiple sources and employ qualitative methods such as parent and teen interviews. Conclusion The current research is a valuable contribu tion to the dearth of published research on resilience among ethnic minority yout h as is it rooted in a preven tion framework (i.e. a strengthsbased approach to decreasing the likelihood of a negative outcome). Intervention and prevention programs may be more effective in combating the negative effects of stress among African American youth by incorporating a cultural en richment component. More specifically, such programs should perhaps focus on the promotion of a dherence to traditional Africentric values in efforts to protect youth from the harm ful outcomes associated with stress. Resilience-focused programs with an Afri centric worldview as a foundation may entail several dimensions. Interventions should be aimed at fostering respect for elders, interdependence, independence, a sense of belonging, and relationship building. Programs may integrate a rites of passage component that involves self-explorati on, bonding experiences, and collective learning. Adolescents ma y be presented with the opport unity to learn about African history, philosophy, and spiritual life. Efforts to promote adherenc e to Africentric values may lead to better outcomes among Af rican American adolescents. The current study also provides useful inform ation for mental health providers working with urban African American adol escents. Therapy that recognizes and employs the principles of Nguzo Saba (Karenga, 1988) may be beneficial as the values of an Africentric worldview guide service provision. The current research findings lend support to implementation of such modalities as NTU psychotherapy proposed by Phillips (1990). The foundation of NTU therapy stresses harmony, balance, intercon nectedness, cultural awareness, and authenticity. It is also 87

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based upon the principles of Nguzo Saba (Karenga, 1988) and acknowledges the mind, body, spirit connection. Implementation of such trea tment modalities may prove beneficial when providing mental health treatment to African American adolescents. Given the association between externalizing behavior and academic underachievement among adolescents (Hinshaw, 1992), further explor ation regarding the pr otective role of an Africentric worldview may lead to more eff ective school-based interventions. By creating a educational experience that is culturally affi rming for African American students, academic success rather than academic failure may be f acilitated by buffering the effects of stress on externalizing behavior. For example, an Africentric curriculum has been adopted or integrated by several schools in efforts to promote a more conducive learning environment (Asante, 1991). Students are given the opportunity to increase se nse of cultural pride, le arn more about African American history, and develop awareness of social injustices. More specifi cally, incorporation of Africentric values places African American students within the context of their own culture. By incorporating aspects of the Af ricentric worldview into schoo l instruction, teachers may experience greater behavioral outcomes for African American students. Intervention efforts that adequately reflect the targeted group facili tate greater acceptance and effectiveness of these efforts. Resilience re search that incorporates the role of culturespecific factors assists in the id entification of variables that ma y improve the effectiveness of existing prevention programs and contribute to the development of new programs. Despite the limitations of the current study, th e findings contribute to the discourse on the role of culture in resilience. In addition, the current study advances the resear ch on resilience among African American adolescent s as attention is gi ven to the moderating effects of cultural variables in relation to stress-related risks. While traditional research has focused on the deficits 88

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of African American youth, the cu rrent study sought to identify protective factors that foster positive outcomes for a sample of this at-ri sk population. The current study is based on a theoretical framework that recogni zes culture in the manifestation of stress, highlighting the need to consider the cultural experi ences and attitudes of youth. Th is research should serve as inspiration for more culture-base d resilience research in effort s to improve the prevention and intervention approaches aimed at promoting the psychological wellbei ng African American adolescents. It is through the exploration and systematic study of culture and related protective factors that a greater un derstanding of the risk and resilience processe s among African American youth is gained. 89

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90 APPENDIX A PARENTAL INFORMED CONSENT FORM Dear Parent or Guardian, My name is Erin Jackson and I am a graduate student at the University of Florida. Today, I am inviting your teen to join me in a study exploring how teens succeed even though they experience much stress. I am interested in thei r feelings, experiences, and the ways they handle stress. The study may not directly help your teen but may benefit future teenagers. Results of my study may lead to programs that help teens be suc cessful even when they feel stressed a lot. If your teen participates in my research study, she or he will comple te questionnaires about personal attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Your teens name will not be written on the questionnaires so that her or his responses will be kept confidential. Each packet of questionnaires will have a code number on it inst ead of using your teens name. Only I will be able to see the completed questionnaires. Each participant will sign her or his name on a list to show that she or he participated in the study. This list will be given directly to me. It will take about one hour to complete the questionnaires. Your teens participation is completely voluntar y, and she or he may stop participating at any time. Participation is not required for your ch ilds placement in any program. If your teen decides to stop participating, there will be no negative consequences for doing so. She or he can just throw away the uncom pleted questionnaires. There are no expected risks or benefits relate d to my study. There is no financial compensation for participation. Participants will be given a pizza party as an incen tive for participation. Findings from this study will be summarized in a lett er that will be given to your teen to give to you. These findings will be for all student participants so that findings for your teen or any other cannot be known. If you have any questions about the study, please contact me, Erin S. Jackson, or my doctoral committee chairperson, Dr. Carolyn Tucker, at (352) 392-0601, extension 260. Questions or concerns about your teens rights as a research participant may be addressed to the UF Institutional Review Board, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gain esville, Florida, 32611, (352) 392-0433. Agreement: I freely agree for my teen, _______________________________, to participate in this research. Please print your teens name __________________________________________ ___________ Parent/Guardian Signature Date __________________________________________ ___________ Parent/Guardian Signature Date Please sign and return this form with your tee n. A second copy is prov ided for you to keep.

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APPENDIX B TEEN ASSENT FORM My name is Erin S. Jackson. Today, I am inviting you to join me in a study exploring how teens succeed even though they feel much stress. I am in terested in your feelings, experiences, and the ways you handle stress. The study may not directly help you but may benefit future teenagers. Results of my study may lead to programs that help teens be successful even when they feel stressed a lot. This study is not a measure of intelligence. It is simply a measure of your feelings, beliefs and experiences. There are no right or wrong answers. The questionnaires will take about one hour to complete and your answers will be confid ential. You will not place your name on the questionnaires that you complete. Each packet of questionnaires will have a code number on it instead of using your name. Only I will be able to see the completed questionnaires so none of your family members or program staff will see yo ur answers. You will also not get into any trouble for your answers. There are no anticipated risks or benefits related to your participation in th is study. Some of the questions do ask about behaviors su ch as drug use or other illegal activities. I will be available after you hand in your questionnaires to discuss any discomfort you may feel because of this research and to give you the names of local s ources of support if wanted. You do not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. Y ou will have the right to end your participation at any time without any negative consequences If you stop participating, just throw away the uncompleted questionnaires. Part icipation is not required for your placement in any program. You also have the right to ask me any questions about this study. There is no financial compensation for participa ting in the study. Particip ants will be given a pizza party. Findings from this study will be summarized in a letter that will be given to you. These findings will be for all student participants so that findings for you or any other cannot be known. If you have any questions about the study, please contact me, Erin S. Jackson, or my doctoral committee chairperson, Dr. Carolyn Tucker, at (352) 392-0601, extension 260. Questions or concerns about rights as a research participant may be addressed to the UF Institutional Review Board, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, (352) 392-0433. Please sign below if you have read the procedure described above and would like to participate in this study. _____________________________________ Please print your name _____________________________________ ______________ Please sign your name Date Please sign and return this form to Erin Jackson. A second copy is provided for you to keep. 91

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APPENDIX C DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE Please provide the requested information by writing in or shading in your answer. Age:_________ Gender: Male Female Ethnicity: African American Caribbean Latino/Hispanic Black Other (Please specify _________________________________) Current grade level: Ninth grade Tenth grade Eleventh grade Twelfth grade Other (Please specify _________________________________) Have you ever repeated a grade? Yes No Do you qualify for the following? Reduced-fee lunch Free lunch None of the above Who resides in your home? Check all that apply. Mother or mother figure Father or father figure Sister(s): how many?________ Brother(s): how many?________ Aunt(s): how many?________ Uncle(s): how many?________ Grandparent(s): how many?________ Other relative(s) (Please specify _____________________________________________) Other (Please specify______________________________) 92

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APPENDIX D MULTICULTURAL EVENTS SC HEDULE FOR ADOLESCENTS Here are some events that sometimes happen to teenagers. Please indicate whether each of the following events have happened to you in the past 3 months 1 happened 2 did not happen 1 2 1. Family members, relative, or step-p arents moved in or out of your house. 2. Someone you live with got pre gnant or had a baby. 3. Your family moved to a new home. 4. You moved far away from family or friends. 5. You broke up with your boyf riend / girlfriend. 6. You got pregnant or had a baby or got your girlfriend pregnant. 7. Your parent lost a job. 8. You changed schools. 9. You lost your pet or your pet died. 10. You were seriously ill or injured. 11. A close family member was seriously ill or injured. 12. A close family member died. 13. A close friend died. 14. Your parents separated or divorced. 15. You got a new guardian or step-parent. 16. Your home was damaged by fire, accident, or natural disaster (i.e. bad storm). 17. People from the government (Immig ration, Welfare, Police, etc.) investigated someone in your family. 93

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1 happened 2 did not happen 1 2 18. You were pressured to do dr ugs, smoke or drink alcohol. 19. You were pressured against your will to join a gang. 20. Someone stole something valuable from you (more than $5). 21. Your parent(s) got upset at you fo r not participating in the family s cultural or religious traditions. 22. You heard gunshots fired at your school or in your neighborhood. 23. You did poorly on an exam or school assignment. 24. You were unfairly accused of doing something bad because of your race or ethnicity. 25. A close family member or some one you live with got drunk or high. 26. You saw someone carrying a weapon. 27. Your parent was upset because he or she could not find work. 28. You had to wear clothes that were dirty, worn out, or don t fit. 29. Your parent(s) criticized you for speaking English. 30. Your close friend(s) got drunk or high. 31. People put you down for practici ng the customs or traditions of your own race or ethnicity or country of origin. 32. A close family member or some one you live with had serious emotional problems. 33. You saw someone being threatened with a knife or gun. 34. A teacher put you down for not speaking English well. 35. Other kids put you down for not speaking English well. 94

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1 happened 2 did not happen 1 2 36. A close family member or some one you live with participated in gang activity. 37. Someone close to you was threatened with a knife or gun. 38. You were excluded from a group b ecause of your cultu re or race. 39. Your parent(s) talked about having serious money problems. 40. You had to translate for one of your parents who does not speak English. 41. Your family had to stay in a homeless shelter or public place. 42. Your friends criticized y ou for hanging out with other ethnic or racial groups. 43. Someone close to you was shot or attacked. 44. Other kids made fun of the way you look. 45. A friend that you trusted did not keep a secret. 46. You had a major failure in sports or an extracurricular activity. 47. You were not chosen for a team or activity that you wa nted to join. 48. Your parent(s) criticized you for hanging out with people of a different race or culture. 49. Your boyfriend / girlfriend dumped you or cheated on you. 50. You heard people say bad things or ma ke jokes about your culture or race. 51. You were physically attacked by someone not in your family. 52. Things in your home did not work the way they should (no water, no electricity, things falling apart, etc.) 53. You liked someone who didn t like you. 95

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1 happened 2 did not happen 1 2 54. You had a serious disagreement with your mom s boyfriend or dads girlfriend. 55. Other members of your family (or people you live with) had a serious disagreement or fight. 56. People in your family accused you of not being proud of your culture or race. 57. You had a disagreement or fight with a close friend. 58. You had a disagreement with a teacher or principal. 59. You had to spend time away from your family because of family problems. 60. Other kids wanted to fight with you or tried to fight with you. 61. You were called a racial na me that was a put down. 62. Members of your family hit or hurt each other. 63. You had a hard time doing things because you dont speak English well. 64. A close friend had a serious emotional problem. 65. A teacher or principal criticized you or tried to embarrass you in front of other students. 66. Members of your family refused to speak to each other. 67. Your parent did not do someth ing he or she promised. 68. Someone broke into your home or damaged it. 69. You had to work to support other family members. 70. You could not buy yourself something important because your family did not have enough money. 96

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1 happened 2 did not happen 1 2 71. You were pressured about having sex. 72. You saw another student tr eated badly or disc riminated against because of his/her race/ethnicity. 73. Your parents had a serious disagree ment or fight with each other. 74. Your mom had a serious disagree ment or fight with a boyfriend. 75. Family members could not go someplace they needed to go (work, school, doctor, etc.) because they had no transportation. 76. You were threatened with a knife or gun. 77. Your parent(s) acted badly in front of your friends (yelled at them, criticized them, or was drunk in front of them). 78. A close family member or someone you live with committed a crime, got in trouble with the law, or was sent to jail. 79. You had to go without a meal because your family did not have enough money. 80. You saw someone get shot or attacked. 81. You had to do almost all the cooking, cleaning, or childcare in your home because your parent(s) had to work. 82. You saw someone commit a crime (e .g., stealing, selling drugs, etc.) in your neighborhood. 97

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APPENDIX E YOUTH SELF-REPORT Below is a list of items that describe kids For each item that describes you now or within the past six months please fill in the 2 if the item is very true or often true for you Fill in the 1 if the item is somewhat or sometimes true of you If the item is not true of you, fill in the 0 0 Not true 1 Somewhat or sometimes true 2 Very true or often true 0 1 2 1. I act too young for my age. 2. I drink alcohol without my parents approval. 3. I argue a lot. 4. I fail to finish things that I start. 5. There is very little that I enjoy. 6. I like animals. 7. I brag. 8. I have trouble concentrating or paying attention. 9. I cant get my mind off certain thoughts. 10. I have trouble sitting still. 11. Im too dependent on adults. 12. I feel lonely. 13. I feel confused or in a fog. 14. I cry a lot. 15. I am pretty honest. 16. I am mean to others. 98

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0 Not true 1 Somewhat or sometimes true 2 Very true or often true 0 1 2 17. I daydream a lot. 18. I deliberately try to hu rt or kill myself. 19. I try to get a lot of attention. 20. I destroy my own things. 21. I destroy things belonging to others. 22. I disobey my parents. 23. I disobey at school. 24. I dont eat as well as I should. 25. I dont get along with other kids. 26. I dont feel guilty after doing something I shouldnt. 27. I am jealous of others. 28. I break rules at home, school, or elsewhere. 29. I am afraid of certain animals, situations, or places, other than school. 30. I am afraid of going to school. 31. I am afraid I might think or do something bad. 32. I feel that I have to be perfect. 33. I feel that no one loves me. 34. I feel that others are out to get me. 35. I feel worthless or inferior. 99

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0 Not true 1 Somewhat or sometimes true 2 Very true or often true 0 1 2 36. I accidentally get hurt a lot. 37. I get in many fights. 38. I get teased a lot. 39. I hang around with kids who get in trouble. 40. I hear sounds or voices that ot her people think arent there. 41. I act without stopping to think. 42. I would rather be alone than with others. 43. I lie or cheat. 44. I bite my fingernails. 45. I am nervous or tense. 46. Parts of my body twitch or make nervous movements. 47. I have nightmares. 48. I am not liked by other kids. 49. I can do certain things be tter than most kids. 50. I am too fearful or anxious. 51. I feel dizzy or lightheaded. 52. I feel too guilty. 53. I eat too much. 54. I feel too tired without good reason. 55. I am overweight. 100

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56. Physical problems without known medical cause: a. Aches or pains (not stomach or headaches) b. Headaches c. Nausea, feel sick d. Problem with eyes (not if corrected by glasses) e. Rashes or other skin problems f. Stomachaches g. Vomiting, throwing up h. Other 57. I physically attack people. 58. I pick my skin or other parts of my body. 59. I can be pretty friendly. 60. I like to try new things. 61. My school work is poor. 62. I am poorly coordinated or clumsy. 63. I would rather be with older kids than kids my own age. 64. I would rather be with younger kids than kids my own age. 65. I refuse to talk. 66. I repeat certain acts over and over. 67. I run away from home. 68. I scream a lot. 69. I am secretive or keep things to myself. 70. I see things that other pe ople think arent there. 101

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0 Not true 1 Somewhat or sometimes true 2 Very true or often true 0 1 2 71. I am self-conscious or easily embarrassed. 72. I set fires. 73. I can work well with my hands. 74. I show off or clown. 75. I am too shy or timid. 76. I sleep less than most kids. 77. I sleep more than most ki ds during day and/or night. 78. I am inattentive or easily distracted. 79. I have a speech problem. 80. I stand up for my rights. 81. I steal at home. 82. I steal from places other than my home. 83. I store up too many things I dont need. 84. I do things other people think are strange. 85. I have thoughts that other pe ople would think are strange. 86. I am stubborn. 87. My moods or feelings change suddenly. 88. I enjoy being with people. 89. I am suspicious. 90. I swear or use dirty language. 102

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91. I think about killing myself. 92. I like to make others laugh. 93. I talk too much. 94. I tease others a lot. 95. I have a hot temper. 96. I think about sex too much. 97. I threaten to hurt people. 98. I like to help others. 99. I smoke, chew, or sniff tobacco. 100. I have trouble sleeping. 101. I cut classes or skip school. 102. I dont have much energy. 103. I am unhappy, sad, or depressed. 104. I am louder than other kids. 105. I use drugs for nonmedical purposes (dont include alcohol or tobacco) 106. I like to be fair to others. 107. I enjoy a good joke. 108. I like to take life easy. 109. I try to help other people when I can. 110. I wish I were of the opposite sex. 111. I keep from getting involved with others. 112. I worry a lot. 103

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APPENDIX F MULTIGROUP ETHNIC IDENTITY MEASURE In this country, people come from a lot of different cultures a nd there are many different words to describe the different backgr ounds or ethnic groups that people come from. Some examples of the names of ethnic groups are Mexican-America n, Hispanic, Black, Asian-American, American Indian, Anglo-America, and White. Every person is born into an ethnic group, and sometimes two groups, but people differ on how important ethnicity is to them how they feel about it, and how much their behavior is affected by it. Th ese questions are about your ethnicity or your ethnic group and how you feel about it or react to it. Please fill in: In terms of ethnic group, I consider myself to be_______________________________. Use the numbers below to indicate how much you agree or disagree with each statement. 4 Strongly agree 3 Somewhat agree 2 Somewhat disagree 1 Strongly disagree 4 3 2 1 Strongly Strongly Agree Disagree 1. I have spent time trying to find out more about my own ethnic group, such as its hi story, traditions, and customs. 2. I am active in organizations or social groups that include mostly members of my own ethnic group. 3. I have a clear sense of my ethnic background and what it means for me. 4. I think a lot about how my life will be affected by my ethnic group membership. 5. I am happy that I am a memb er of the group I belong to. 6. I am not very clear about the role of my ethnicity in my life. 104

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4 Strongly agree 3 Somewhat agree 2 Somewhat disagree 1 Strongly disagree 4 3 2 1 Strongly Strongly Agree Disagree 7. I really have not spent much time trying to learn more about the culture an d history of my ethnic group. 8. I have a strong sense of belonging to my ethnic group. 9. I understand pretty well that my ethnic group membership means to me, in terms of how to relate to my own group and other groups. 10. In order to learn more about my ethnic background, I have often talked to other people about my ethnic group. 11. I have a lot of pride in my ethnic group and its accomplishments. 12. I participate in cultural practices of my own group, such as special food, music, or customs. 13. I feel a strong attachment towards my own ethnic group. 14. I feel good about my cu ltural or ethnic background. 105

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APPENDIX G CHILDRENS AFRICENTRIC VALUES SCALE These statements are about your feelings and th oughts. Please let us know how you feel. Please shade the box for the number describing how you feel. 1 Yes 2 Not sure 3 No 1 2 3 1. When problems are solved in the community, everyone should benefit 2. Families, schools, and communities should work together to improve themselves. 3. Black people should treat each other as brothers and sisters. 4. Decisions that affect the Bl ack community should be made by African Americans and not people of other races. 5. African Americans must decide what is best for their own people. 6. African Americans should work t ogether to make their communities great. 7. Everyone in the community should help to solve community problems. 8. African Americans should always try to help African Americans in need. 9. When possible, Black people s hould spend their money in Blackowned stores and shops.. 10.Black people should create more jobs for Black community by starting their ow n businesses. 11.African Americans should not let anyone stop them from achieving their goals. 12.We should work to make our neighborhoods look nicer. 13.People should use creative talents to help improve the community. 14.Our parents, teachers, and community leaders should look out for our best interest. 106

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APPENDIX H AFRICULTURAL COPING SYSTEMS INVENTORY Think of a stressful situation you experienced within the past week or so. Write a brief description of that situation. _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Now, respond to the following statements about how you responded to th e stressful situation using the scale below. 0 Does not apply or Did not use 1 Used a little 2 Used a lot 3 Used a great deal 0 1 2 3 1. Prayed that things would work themselves out. 2. Got a group of family or friends together to help with the problem. 3. Shared your feelings with a friend or family member. 4. Remembered what a parent (or ot her relative) once said about dealing with these kinds of situations. 5. Tried to forget about the situation. 6. Went to church (or other religi ous meeting) to get help from the group. 7. Thought of all the struggles Black people have had to endure, which gave you strength to d eal with the s ituation. 8. To keep from thinking about the situation, you found other things to keep you busy. 9. Sought advice about how to handle th e situation from an older person in your family or community. 107

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0 Does not apply or Did not use 1 Used a little 2 Used a lot 3 Used a great deal 0 1 2 3 10.Read a scripture from the Bible (o r similar book) for comfort and/or guidance. 11.Asked for suggestions on how to deal with the situation during a meeting of your organization or club. 12.Tried to convince yourself that it was not bad. 13.Asked someone to pray for you. 14.Spent more time than usual during group activities. 15.Hoped that things would get better with time. 16.Read passage from a daily meditation book. 17.Spent more time than usual doing things with family and friends. 18.Tried to remove yourself from the situation. 19.Sought out people you thought would make you laugh. 20.Got dressed up in my best clothing. 21.Asked for blessings from a spir itual or religious person. 22.Helped others with their problems. 23.Lit a candle for strength or guida nce in dealing with the problem. 24.Sought emotional support from family and friends. 25.Burned incense for strength or guid ance in dealing with the problem. 26.Attended a social event (dance, party, movie) to reduce stress caused by the situation. 108

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0 Does not apply or Did not use 1 Used a little 2 Used a lot 3 Used a great deal 0 1 2 3 27.Sung a song to yourself to help reduce the stress. 28.Used a cross or other obj ect for its special power s in dealing with the problem. 29.Found yourself watching more comedy shows on television. 30.Left matters in Gods hands. 109

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APPENDIX I MARLOWE-CROWNE SOCIAL DESIRABILITY SCALE For each of the following statements, indicate whether you consider it to be true of false. True False 1. I never hesitate to go out of my way to help someone in trouble. 2. I never intensely liked someone. 3. I sometimes feel resentful when I dont get my way. 4. I like to gossip at times. 5. There have been times when I felt like rebel ling against people in authority even tho ugh I feel they are right. 6. I can remember playing sick to get out of something. 7. There have been occasions when I took advantage of someone. 8. Im always willing to admit when I made a mistake. 9. I always try to practic e what I preach 10. I sometimes try to get rather than forgive and forget. 11. When I dont know something, I dont mind admitting it at all. 12. I am always courteous, even to people who are disagreeable. 13. At times I have really insisted on having things my way. 14. There have been occasions when I felt like smashing things. 15. I would never think of letting someone else be punished for my wrongdoings. 16. I never resent being asked to return a favor. 17. I have never been irked when people e xpressed ideas very different than my own. 18. There have been times when I was quite jealous of the good fortune of others. 19. I am sometimes irritated by people who ask favors of me. 110

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True False 20. I have never deliberately said some thing to hurt someones feelings. 111

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120 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Erin S. Jackson was born in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the first daughter to Clarence and Yvette Jackson. Erin completed high school in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1994. After graduating from high school, Erin a ttended Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida. In 1998, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Erin then entered th e counseling psychology doctoral pr ogram at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florid a. In 2002, she received her Master of Science degree. While continuing to pursue her doctoral degree, Erin gain ed valuable experience working with youth in day treatment, residential substance abuse placem ent, and school-based mental health services. She was awarded the Ph.D. in May 2008. Erin stri ves to empower all youth to succeed despite the challenges of life.