Session: Overcoming Risk: The Role of Various Forms of Social Support in the Lives of Black Adolescents (Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference - Achieving Equal Opportunity, Equity, and Justice)

02 Overcoming Risk: The Role of Various Forms of Social Support in the Lives of Black Adolescents

Thursday, January 11, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Monument (ML 4) (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Adolescent and Youth Development
Symposium Organizer:
Adrian Gale, PhD, Rutgers University
Antoinette Farmer, PhD, Rutgers University
A burgeoning literature has demonstrated that Black youth encounter a variety of risk factors within their lives. These risk include: living in disorganized neighborhoods, encountering stress in their families, and experiencing racial discrimination. These risk factors are negatively associated with physical, social, and academic outcomes. Yet, despite the many risk factors that Black youth face, many Black youth thrive and are resilient. One of the reasons that youth are resilient in the face of risk is, because they have access to social support from people within their lives. These individuals help to improve Black youth's lives in direct and indirect ways and make it possible for these youth to overcome risk. The studies in this paper symposium contribute to social work's growing understanding of the ways in which social support from adults relate to Black youths' outcomes. In particular, this symposium examines some of the ways in which social support from adults influences academic outcomes (i.e., grades and persistence), psychological well-being and parents' recreational choice for Black adolescents. Specific contributions of this symposium include: 1) exploration of different sources of social support during a pivotal developmental period (i.e., adolescence); 2) examination of the ways in which social support operates in different settings (i.e., schools, foster care, and recreational settings); and 3) utilization of various methodological approaches (e.g., survey; interview, and participatory action research). The first study examines teacher support as a moderator of the association between racial discrimination from teachers and from peers and academic outcomes. The second study, uses longitudinal data to assesses the role of relational permanence in the lives of Black adolescents in the foster care system. The final study, which utilizes qualitative methodology, examines the decisions around recreational activities of parents of at-risk Black youth. In sum, this innovative symposium highlights the role that social support plays in fostering positive development for Black adolescents in the school, foster care, and recreational arenas.
* noted as presenting author
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