This study investigated the roles of racial and ethnic socialization in the link between racial discrimination and school adjustment among a sample of 233 adopted Korean American adolescents from White adoptive families and 155 nonadopted Korean American adolescents from immigrant Korean families. Adopted Korean American adolescents reported lower levels of racial discrimination, racial socialization, and ethnic socialization than nonadopted Korean American adolescents. However, racial discrimination was negatively related to school belonging and school engagement, and ethnic socialization was positively related to school engagement for both groups. Racial socialization also had a curvilinear relationship with school engagement for both groups. A moderate level of racial socialization predicted positive school engagement, whereas low and high levels of racial socialization predicted negative school engagement. Finally, ethnic socialization moderated the link between racial discrimination and school belonging, which differed between groups. In particular, ethnic socialization exacerbated the relations between racial discrimination and school belonging for adopted Korean American adolescents, whereas ethnic socialization buffered this link for nonadopted Korean American adolescents. The findings illustrate the complex relationship between racial and ethnic socialization, racial discrimination, and school adjustment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (K01 MH070740) to Richard M. Lee.
© 2016 American Psychological Association.
- Ethnic socialization
- Korean Americans
- Racial discrimination
- Racial socialization
- School adjustment