Race and gender influences on adjustment in early adolescence: Investigation of an integrative model

David L. DuBois, Carol Burk-Braxton, Lance P. Swenson, Heather D. Tevendale, Jennifer L. Hardesty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research investigated an integrative model of race- and gender-related influences on adjustment during early adolescence using a sample of 350 Black and White youth. In the proposed model, prejudice/discrimination events, as well as race and gender daily hassles, contribute to a general stress context. The stress context, in turn, influences levels of emotional and behavioral problems in adjustment, with these associations mediated (in part) by intervening effects on self-esteem. Racial and gender identity similarly have positive effects on adjustment via their intermediary linkages with self-esteem. Structural equation modeling analyses provided support for all of these aspects of the model. Findings also revealed theoretically predicted differences in model parameters across race by gender subgroups. These include a direct effect of prejudice/discrimination events on emotional problems specific to Black youth and an effect of gender identity on self-esteem specific to girls. Black girls appeared to be most vulnerable to exhibiting significant adjustment difficulties as a result of the processes under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1573-1592
Number of pages20
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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