Promoting Positive Identity of African American Girls

Anita Jones Thomas, Suzette L. Speight, Laura D. Turner-Essel and Rabiatu Barrie

in The Oxford Handbook of Prevention in Counseling Psychology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396423
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Promoting Positive Identity of African American Girls

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Abstract African American girls face significant barriers to the development and maintenance of a positive, healthy, and affirming identity. They are often placed at risk due to psychosocial factors, as well as their devalued status as both ethnic minorities and women. While psychologists have explored the influence of racial and gender identity development as separate processes, less attention has been placed on gendered racial identity development or the promotion of resilience of African American girls. This chapter describes the developmental process of girls, focusing on the role of oppression and stereotypical images. Factors that influence identity development including racial socialization and Africultural values are presented. The chapter includes an overview of prevention programs that foster a positive sense of self for girls, and ends with directions for research and clinical practice.

Keywords: African American girls; identity development; racial identity; gender identity; rites of passages programs; critical consciousness

Article.  7427 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology

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