For all of the many problems that are often readily identified for African American children, there are rarely any solutions offered to rectify the laundry list of problems. I want to inform YOU that there is hope in the black community and there is hope for all children that supposedly are “products of their environments”.
In the study, Effects of Family Structure, Family Process, and Father Involvement on Psychosocial Outcomes Among African-American Adolescents Salem, Zimmerman, & Notaro, (1998) examined the importance of family process. According to the authors, family process refers to the nature and quality of family dynamics and relationships. There are three domains of family process; parental support, parental monitoring and family conflict, which have been found to be particularly relevant for adolescent development.
Researchers have reliably found that children appear better off in terms of cognitive, sex-role, and psychosocial development when they have a close and supportive relationship with their fathers, regardless of where their fathers live (Lamb, 1986). This illustrates the importance of family involvement and the sense of community that can help aid in the development of not only black children, but all children.
Taylor (1996) found parent support of school was associated with less problem behavior and psychological distress, and more school engagement among African American youths. Taylor, Casten, and Flickinger (1993) reported that authoritative parenting practices-warm, accepting, and firm behavioral control and monitoring-were associated with adolescent psychosocial adjustment in African American families. Steinberg (1991) also found that authoritative parenting was related to higher grade-point averages, greater self-reliance, less psychological distress, and lower delinquency for youths living in many different ecological niches (defined by family structure, ethnicity and social class).
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