Using a sample of 203 African American late adolescents aged 16 to 19 years (Mage = 17.77 years), we examined whether two aspects of gender identity—gender typicality and felt pressure for gender conformity—were related to self-esteem. Racial centrality (i.e., the importance of race to the individual’s self-concept) and gender were tested as moderators of these relations. Compared to girls, boys reported that they were more typical of their gender group (i.e., gender typicality) and that they experienced greater pressure to conform to traditional gender norms (i.e., felt pressure). Multiple linear regression analyses showed that gender typicality was positively related to self-esteem among girls and boys and that the relation was stronger for girls. Racial centrality moderated the relation between gender typicality and self-esteem, such that the relation was weaker for youth who reported higher levels of racial centrality. Felt pressure was negatively related to self-esteem for both boys and girls. These results underscore the importance of considering both gender and race as social identities as we seek to understand African American adolescents’ psychological adjustment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology