Ethnic awareness, prejudice, and civic commitments in four ethnic groups of American adolescents

Constance A. Flanagan, Amy K. Syvertsen, Sukhdeep Gill, Leslie S. Gallay, Patricio Cumsille

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The role of prejudice and ethnic awareness in the civic commitments and beliefs about the American social contract of 1,096 (53% female) adolescents (11-18 year olds, Mean = 15) from African-, Arab-, Latino-, and European-American backgrounds were compared. Ethnic awareness was higher among minority youth and discrimination more often reported by African- and Arab-Americans. Parental admonitions against discrimination were heard by all but African Americans, Latinos and those who reported prejudice heard that it could pose a barrier. Adolescents' beliefs that America is an equal opportunity society were negatively associated with experiences of discrimination and African-Americans were least likely to believe that the government was responsive to the average person. With respect to civic goals, all youth endorsed patriotism but ethnic minorities and ethnically aware youth were more committed to advocating for their ethnic group and European-Americans were less committed than were African Americans to improving race relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-518
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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