The relationship between skin color, self-esteem and African self -consciousness among African American college -educated women

Kim M Daniel, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among skin color, self-esteem, and African self-consciousness among 303 college-educated African American women. In addition, an African American Socialization Subscale was used to examine the participants' level of acculturation in the African American culture. The researcher hypothesized that those women who perceived their skin color as light, in comparison to the African American population, would have high self-esteem scores and low scores on the African American Acculturation scale and the African Self-Consciousness scale. In addition, it was predicted that there would be a significant correlation among self-esteem, African American acculturation, and African self-consciousness as well as some relationships among the demographic variables, and the independent and/or dependent variables in the present study. In an attempt to determine the above, subjects self-identified their perceived skin color, completed an African self-consciousness scale, a self-esteem scale, an African American Acculturation subscale, as well as provided specific demographic information regarding their age, education, income, marital status, etc. There were some correlations within the demographic questions and one of the independent variables as well as low correlations among the independent variables. The results of the present study indicated a small significance at the .01 level between the Acculturation subscale and the African Self-Conscience Scale as well as between the Acculturation subscale and the Self-Esteem scale. The participants who were raised in an African American environment (meaning they answered yes to the question regarding attending Black churches and going to Black schools as they grew up) had higher scores on the African Self-Consciousness scale as well as the Self-Esteem scale. Self-esteem was also correlated with age and self-reported income level. The older the participants in the study were, the higher their income was; thus, their self-esteem was also higher. However, there were no correlations between the independent variable skin color and the dependent variables in the present study.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology|Social psychology|Womens studies|Black studies|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Daniel, Kim M, "The relationship between skin color, self-esteem and African self -consciousness among African American college -educated women" (2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3003022.