Social Networking Site Use, Racial Identity, Racial Socialization and the African American iGeneration: A Glimpse into the Future
Abstract Future racial socialization (FRS) is a future-oriented concept that speaks to how adolescents intend to racially socialize their own children. This future-oriented parenting decision has been associated with the existing racial socialization messages that adolescents receive from their own caregivers prior to becoming parents themselves. Research has posited that parental racial socialization is arguably one of the most important developmental processes for African American youth (Hughes, 2006), and has been largely conceptualized as a process between parents and children. However, a new force called Social Networking Sites (SNS) has entered our ecological world over the last 20 years; possibly catalyzing a shift to occur in the racial socialization processes of adolescents, especially the African American adolescents of today known as being a part of the Generation Z or as the iGeneration (approximately born 1995-2012). It is important to understand how SNS are altering the adolescent development processes so that we can understand its benefits and risks. This study is a secondary data analysis of archived data that examines the relation of Parental Racial Socialization to Future Racial Socialization (FRS) as moderated by SNS and Racial Identity (RI), in African American Adolescents. In the current study, the participants are 300 African American high school students in a large southern urban city. The students ranged in age from 13 to 19 years old and attended a predominately (98%) African American high school in the United States. Findings demonstrate that racial identity plays a significant role in the relation between PRS (cultural socialization type) and FRS, and when specifically examining African American girls, racial centrality (a subcomponent of racial identity) and SNS play a significant role in moderating the relation between two types of PRS and FRS.