Thesis

Effects of skin color and gender on self-concept: a study of African American and Caribbean black youth

Thesis (M.A., Sociology)--California State University, Sacramento, 2018.

The purpose of this thesis was to replicate and expand the study by Thompson and Keith (2001), which showed that skin tone influenced American black adult’s self-concept differently by gender in that skin tone influenced women’s self-esteem and men’s self-efficacy, while it did not influence men’s self-esteem and women’s self-efficacy. Intersectionality and the theories of self-concepts guided this research. Using nationally representative data from The National Survey of American Life-Adolescent Supplement 2001-2004 (NSAL-A), I examined whether these findings can be replicated using newer dataset, among black adolescents as opposed to adults, and among Caribbean blacks as well as African Americans. The findings from the whole sample analysis showed that darker skin was associated with lower self-esteem and mastery. The analysis by ethnicity showed that African Americans with darker skin had lower self-esteem and mastery, while Caribbean adolescent’s self-concepts were not influenced by skin shade. The analysis by ethnicity and gender showed that African American girls with darker skin had lower self-esteem and mastery, while African American boys and Caribbean adolescent’s self-concepts were not influenced by skin shade. These findings add to the literature on the effect of Colorism on black American boys and girls in the 21st Century.

The purpose of this thesis was to replicate and expand the study by Thompson and Keith (2001), which showed that skin tone influenced American black adult’s self-concept differently by gender in that skin tone influenced women’s self-esteem and men’s self-efficacy, while it did not influence men’s self-esteem and women’s self-efficacy. Intersectionality and the theories of self-concepts guided this research. Using nationally representative data from The National Survey of American Life-Adolescent Supplement 2001-2004 (NSAL-A), I examined whether these findings can be replicated using newer dataset, among black adolescents as opposed to adults, and among Caribbean blacks as well as African Americans. The findings from the whole sample analysis showed that darker skin was associated with lower self-esteem and mastery. The analysis by ethnicity showed that African Americans with darker skin had lower self-esteem and mastery, while Caribbean adolescent’s self-concepts were not influenced by skin shade. The analysis by ethnicity and gender showed that African American girls with darker skin had lower self-esteem and mastery, while African American boys and Caribbean adolescent’s self-concepts were not influenced by skin shade. These findings add to the literature on the effect of Colorism on black American boys and girls in the 21st Century.

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