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Adv Child Dev Behav. 2016;51:81-102. doi: 10.1016/bs.acdb.2016.05.002. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Helping Children Navigate a Diverse World: Parents' Contributions.

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University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD, United States. Electronic address:
University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD, United States.


We review the existing literature on how parents prepare their children to navigate an increasingly diverse world. In particular, we focus much of our attention on the ethnic-racial socialization practices and beliefs of ethnic minority and majority groups, as this area of the field is currently the most expounded. We begin by exploring the current and future demographic characteristics of the United States to better contextualize research on social justice by developmental scientists. We then review the theoretical frameworks typically used to guide this body of research. Next we examine ethnic minority parents' ethnic-racial socialization practices and discuss their implications. We then consider ethnic majority parents' ethnic-racial socialization practices. Finally we address gaps in the current literature and offer directions for future research. Taken together, this small body of literature is critical to understanding how children are socialized about diversity.


Children; Color-blind approach; Cultural socialization; Ethnic majority; Ethnic minority; Ethnic–racial socialization; Fathers; Intergroup contact theory; Mainstream socialization; Mothers; Parents; Preparation for bias; Promotion of mistrust; Social identity theory

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