Levels and correlates of parental support, peer support, partner support, and/or spiritual support among African American and Caucasian youth were examined in three contexts: adolescent pregnancy (Study 1), first year of college (Study 2), and adolescence and young adulthood (ages 15-29; Study 3). Partially consistent with a cultural specificity perspective, in different contexts different support sources were higher in level and/or more strongly related to adjustment for one ethnic group than the other. Among pregnant adolescents, levels of spiritual support were higher for African Americans than Caucasians; additionally, peer support was positively related to well-being only for African Americans whereas partner support was positively related to well-being only for Caucasians. Among college freshmen, family support was more strongly related to institutional and goal commitment for African Americans than Caucasians; conversely, peer support was more strongly related to institutional and goal commitment among Caucasians. Among 15 to 29-year-olds, levels of parental support and spiritual support were higher among African Americans than Caucasians; additionally, spiritual support was positively related to self-esteem for African Americans but not for Caucasians. Implications and limitations of the research are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health