Ties to Influential Adults among Black and White Adolescents: Culture, Social Class, and Family Networks

Barton J. Hirsch*, Maureen Mickus, Rebecca Boerger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although prior research suggests the importance of nonparental adults to adolescents, the ecological context of those relationships has received little attention. This study examined ties to influential adults among 122 adolescents who varied by race, family structure, and gender. The strongest effects were for race. Blacks reported stronger ties than Whites to the maternal grandmother as well as more supportive interactions with adult mates. While race differences in grandparental ties were robust across social class (SES), ties to an influential adult male became nonsignificant upon controlling for SES. African American girls from divorced families consistently reported the strongest ties. Discussion considers the role of culture versus SES in explaining race differences. Implications for mentoring interventions are proposed, with special attention to the role of actualizing latent ties to already existing network members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-303
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • African american family
  • Mentoring
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Ties to Influential Adults among Black and White Adolescents: Culture, Social Class, and Family Networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this