Methods: Seven electronic databases (Web of Science, ERIC, PsycINFO, Social Services Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, PubMed, and ProQuest Dissertation & Theses) and grey literature were searched for eligible studies through March 2021. Eligibility criteria included (1) studies that evaluated any programs (e.g., positive youth development, problem behavior prevention) that involved parental racial/ethnic socialization; (2) used RCT, quasi-experimental, or pre-test/post-test design; (3) focused on children and adolescents before age 18 and their parent(s); and (4) reported either parent-reported or child/adolescent-reported outcomes on racial/ethnic socialization, racial/ethnic identity, racial/ethnic pride, racial/ethnic-related stress and stress coping, or perceived discrimination. Two authors independently conducted screening, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment. Meta-analysis was not performed due to the heterogeneity and the small number of included studies. Extracted data were summarized and presented in tables and narratives.
Results: The electronic database search yielded 2,103 records and citation searches yielded an additional nine reports. Finally, seven reports representing six studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were included in the systematic review. Among them, four were RCTs and two used pre-test/post-test design. Five studies focused on Black participants and one focused on Mexican-origin immigrant parents. Main racial/ethnic socialization intervention components included cultural socialization, preparation for bias, and overcoming school-based racial stress. Initial evidence based on RCTs revealed these programs are promising for increasing the racial/ethnic socialization practices among Black parents, enhancing Black adolescents’ self-concept, and reducing Mexican-origin immigrant parents’ immigration-related stress. Two pre-test/post-test design studies with Black families reported increases from pre-test to post-test in parents’ ability to cope with racial-encounter stress, children’s and adolescents’ ability to communicate stress, parental self-efficacy in advocating for their children at school, and the frequency of racial/ethnic socialization conversations.
Conclusions and Implications: Although there is some initial evidence, there is a lack of robust empirical evidence for the efficacy of parent-involved racial/ethnic socialization programs. Future clinical trials of culturally sensitive prevention programs are encouraged to report various parent- and child/adolescent-reported racial/ethnic socialization-related outcomes. More rigorous intervention research is needed to confirm these promising findings among all subgroups of BIPOC youth. Because certain racial/ethnic socialization practices may not be protective, rigorous assessment of empirical evidence demonstrating relationships between racial/ethnic socialization practices and youth outcomes for specific youth populations is necessary before incorporating these practices into prevention programs.