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Developmental Characteristics of African American and Caribbean Black Adolescents’ Attributions Regarding Discrimination


Seaton, Eleanor K; .; Caldwell, Cleopatra Howard; Sellers, Robert M.; & Jackson, James S. (2010). Developmental Characteristics of African American and Caribbean Black Adolescents' Attributions Regarding Discrimination. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20(3), 774-788. PMCID: PMC3746994


The present study examined discrimination attributions in the psychological well-being of Black adolescents. Findings are based on a representative sample of 810 African American and 360 Caribbean Black youth, aged 13–17, who participated in the National Survey of American Life. Youth completed measures of perceived discrimination, discrimination attributions, depressive symptoms, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Approximately half the youth attributed discrimination to race/ethnicity (43%), followed by age (17%), physical appearance (16.5%), and gender (7.5%), and there were no ethnic, gender, or age differences regarding discrimination attributions. Key findings suggest that the association between perceived discrimination and psychological well-being did not vary according to discrimination attribution, which implies that discrimination is harmful for Black youth regardless of the attribution.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Research on Adolescence


Seaton, Eleanor K
Caldwell, Cleopatra Howard
Sellers, Robert M.
Jackson, James S.