Patterns of racial-ethnic socialization in Asian American families: Associations with racial-ethnic identity and social connectedness.

Annabelle L. Atkin, Hyung Chol Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


As Asian Americans continue to be one of the fastest growing populations in a rapidly diversifying United States (Lee, 2015), understanding how Asian American parents socialize their children about race and racism and how this contributes to development remains an important question (Chang, 2016; García Coll et al., 1996). Using a sample of 228 Asian American emerging adults (70% female, Mage = 20.23), we examined profiles of parental racial-ethnic socialization messages and their relationships with racial-ethnic identity and social connectedness outcomes. Results suggested 3 profiles. The guarded separation socialization group reported receiving the most frequent messages about maintaining their heritage culture and avoiding outgroups. The passive and active integration socialization groups also received frequent messages about maintaining heritage culture, but very few messages about avoiding outgroups or minimizing the significance of race. The active integration socialization group received the most messages about becoming American, treating everyone equally, and respecting diverse cultures, compared to the passive integration socialization group, which reported receiving few of these messages. Participants in the active integration profile reported significantly higher levels of cognitive clarity and affective pride regarding their racial-ethnic identity compared to the other two profiles, while individuals in the passive and active integration profiles reported significantly higher levels of social connectedness than those in guarded separation profile. These findings highlight the importance of using a holistic lens to understand Asian American youths’ perceptions of how their parents engage in racial-ethnic socialization across multiple domains. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) Public Significance Statement: Asian American youth feel more proud of their racial-ethnic identity and more socially connected to others if they grow up with parents who teach them about their heritage culture, spend time with Americans, and teach them to treat people of diverse backgrounds equally. However, Asian American youth whose parents focus mostly on teaching their heritage culture and tell youth to avoid people of different racial backgrounds feel less pride in their racial-ethnic identity and less connection to others. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of counseling psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Asian American
  • latent profile analysis
  • racial-ethnic identity
  • racial-ethnic socialization
  • social connectedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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