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date: 16 October 2017

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter we synthesize extant scholarship and research to delineate the unique or specific socialization processes that are theorized as facilitating academic performance of bicultural children. We integrate two conceptual models that base the experience of being an underrepresented minority as a central feature of the developmental pathways and psychosocial processes of ethnic-minority children. We then use this integrated framework to organize our synthesis of empirical research on the adaptive familial processes and promotive features of children’s socio-cultural contexts that lead to school achievement for bicultural youth. Potential pathways that are both theorized and tested through empirical research suggest that racial and ethnic socialization messages impact educational outcomes indirectly and directly through their impact on racial-ethnic identity and self-esteem. When parents provide messages of racial/cultural pride and optimally prepare their children for bias in extra-familial settings, such efforts have been shown to mediate the effects of discrimination so that children can function and flourish in educational settings. Research also highlights alternative pathways, in that racial and ethnic socialization have been found to effect educational outcomes by bolstering self-system processes. However, more recent research highlights the complex interplay between these familial and intrapersonal processes within the varied socio-cultural contexts of children. Here, salience of being a minority, sense of belonging in a setting, and the diversity of children’s settings emerge at the forefront of analytic considerations.

Keywords: ethnic-minority children, bicultural children, school achievement, self-system processes, salience of minority status

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