The predictive effects of racial socialization, racial identity, and African self -consciousness on African American college adjustment and psychological defenses

Deidre Marie Anglin, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to add to the literature on psychosocial functioning in African American college students. Specifically, the interrelationships among racial socialization, racial identity, and African self-consciousness, and their predictive influence on college adjustment were examined in Black college students. Psychological defenses were also examined as an indicator of psychosocial functioning. Previous research on racial identity has used the Racial Identity Attitude Scale (RIAS), which has been criticized for its psychometric limitations. This study used Cross's new measure of Racial Identity (CRIS). Few empirical studies have directly examined the theoretical link between racial socialization and racial identity. Even fewer studies have examined racial socialization in college populations. One hundred forty five Black college students from Fordham University and City College of New York were administered self-report questionnaires assessing racial identity, racial socialization, African self-consciousness, college adjustment, and psychological defenses. It was hypothesized that students who experienced racial socialization would tend to have internalized racial identities and higher levels of African self-consciousness. Further, it was expected that these racial variables would predict better college adjustment and be related to mature psychological defenses. Internalized racial identity was also expected to mediate and/or moderate the relationship between more racial socialization experiences and better college adjustment. Bivariate correlation and multiple regression analyses were conducted on data from 141 participants. The results showed that students who were racially socialized tended to possess more internalized racial identities and African self-consciousness. Students with Internalized-Multicultural racial identity tended to be better adjusted in college, but students with Internalized Afrocentric racial identity were less adjusted. Pre-encounter Miseducation racial identity significantly predicted poorer adjustment in college. Racial identity and African self-consciousness were not significantly related to mature psychological defenses. The mediation and moderation hypotheses were not supported. These findings support the importance of racially socializing Black youth and debunking negative stereotypes during racial identity development. This information is valuable to college counselors and college preparation programs who are involved with improving student adjustment to college.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|African Americans|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Anglin, Deidre Marie, "The predictive effects of racial socialization, racial identity, and African self -consciousness on African American college adjustment and psychological defenses" (2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3098123.