This study investigated Black racial ideology, or attitudes and beliefs Black/African Americans hold about what it means to be Black and how Black people should live and interact with society. The available literature suggests that such ideological views may function as value orientations and meaning-making systems that guide behaviors and define the relationships between the self, others, and society. Given this, the current study examined the relationship between racial ideology and psychosocial functioning in two samples of Black American adults (Ns = 578 and 353). In Study 1, exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were used to identify latent factors that underlie the relationships between scores on items derived from widely used measures of racial ideology. Five factors were identified: Ethnocentricity, Afrocentricity, Centrality, Critical Consciousness, and Individuality. The structural validity of these five factors was examined in Study 2, using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM). The results revealed the superiority of ESEM models relative to CFA models in terms of improved goodness-of-fit. The findings also indicated a four-factor solution without Individuality best fit the data. In Study 3, cluster analysis was used to identify how the four dimensions of racial ideology were differentially configured within individuals and how these configurations were related to psychological distress, interpersonal relationships, and sociopolitical activism. Five distinct racial ideology clusters were identified: Low Race Salience, Connected Conscious Inclusive, Low-Identity Afrocentric Ethnocentricity, High-Identity Conscious Ethnocentricity, and Power Evasive Non-Nationalism. These clusters were significantly different on measures of psychological distress and sociopolitical activism. Overall, the findings highlight important individual differences in how Black/African Americans think about their race and how these differences have significant implications for psychosocial experiences.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2018. Major: Psychology. Advisor: Moin Syed. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 189 pages.
Racial Ideology and Psychosocial Implications among African Americans: Integrating Variable-Centered and Person-Centered Approaches.
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