Experimentally Evaluating the Impact of a School-Based African-Centered Emancipatory Intervention on the Ethnic Identity of African American Adolescents
Lewis, K.M.; Andrews, E.; Gaska, K.; Sullivan, C.; Bybee, D.; Ellick, K.L.
Journal of Black Psychology 38(3): 259-289
ISSN/ISBN: 0095-7984 DOI: 10.1177/0095798411416458
Ethnic identity, the extent to which one defines one’s self as a member of a particular ethnic group, has been found to be an important predictor of African American adolescents’ psychological and behavioral well-being. This study experimentally examined the effects of a school-based emancipatory intervention on the ethnic identity of African American adolescents. Using a promising education framework drawn from elements of East African Ujamaa philosophy and practice, the intervention was provided to a randomly selected group of 32 eighth graders in a predominately African American inner-city mainstream public school and then compared to a randomly selected group of 33 eighth graders in a regularly scheduled life skills class from the same population. Contrary to expectations, growth trajectory modeling indicated that participants’ ethnic identity significantly decreased throughout the intervention compared to youth in the control group. Intervention and evaluation challenges are discussed as are implications for future practice and research.