The effects of changes in racial identity and self-esteem on changes in african american adolescents' mental health. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study assessed the unique effects of racial identity and self-esteem on 259 African American adolescents' depressive and anxiety symptoms as they transitioned from the 7th to 8th grades (ages 12-14). Racial identity and self-esteem were strongly correlated with each other for males but not for females. For both males and females, an increase in racial identity over the 1 year was associated with a decrease in the prevalence of depressive symptoms over the same period, even with self-esteem controlled. It was concluded that racial identity may be as important as self-esteem to the mental health of African American adolescents, and it explains variance in their mental health not associated with feelings of oneself as an individual.

published proceedings

  • Child Dev

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Mandara, J., Gaylord-Harden, N. K., Richards, M. H., & Ragsdale, B. L.

citation count

  • 93

complete list of authors

  • Mandara, Jelani||Gaylord-Harden, Noni K||Richards, Maryse H||Ragsdale, Brian L

publication date

  • November 2009