Examination of the link between parental racial socialization messages and racial ideology among black college students

Simone C. Barr, Helen A. Neville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relations between racial socialization and color-blind racial beliefs (i.e., the denial, distortion, or minimization of racism) among 153 Black American college students, including 34 college student-parent dyads, were examined. Findings from open-ended data indicate that participants identified receiving both protective (i.e., messages about the presence of racism) and proactive (i.e., messages focusing on individual and group strengths) racial socialization messages that were previously identified in the literature (e.g., racial pride, racial barriers, and promotion of mistrust), and three new types of racial socialization messages emerged from the data (egalitarian status, egalitarian treatment, and counter stereotypes). Parents'racial color-blindness was related to providing fewer messages about racial mistrust. In addition, parents' adoption of color-blind racial beliefs was negatively related to their report of providing protective racial socialization. Also, students' racial socialization experiences while growing up were related to their color-blind racial beliefs. Greater minimization of racism (i.e., racial color-blindness) was related to reports of receiving fewer messages protecting against racism and racial barriers youth may face in the future. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-155
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008


  • African American
  • Color-blind racial ideology
  • Racial socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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