Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Messages in the Medium: The Relationships among Black Media Images, Racial Identity, Body Image, and the Racial Socialization of Black Youth

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Messages in the Medium: The Relationships among Black Media Images, Racial Identity, Body Image, and the Racial Socialization of Black Youth

Article excerpt

Despite modest research relating racism and media (Tynes & Ward, 2009; Ward, 2004), how Black youth interpret negative stereotype images of Black people promulgated in the media as part of their racial identity and the influence of racial socialization experiences has not adequately been explored. This dissertation study examines the relationships among exposure to Black media images, racial identity, racial socialization, body image and self-esteem for 14- to 21-year old Black youth.

This study occurred in two phases. Data from 65 focus group participants and survey data from 113 Black adolescents ages 14-to 21 was collected and analyzed. Phase one was the administration of focus groups to learn about how Black youth interpret Black media images and whether they could identify negative stereotype messages. The data was used to develop and refine the Black Media Messages Questionnaire (BMMQ). Phase two was the collection of survey data to pilot the BMMQ and to examine the relationships among Black media images, racial identity, racial socialization, body image and self-esteem scores of Black youth.

The results of the focus group analyses suggests, although this generation of youth is living in a more culturally diverse society then prior generation and has access to multiple media platforms that feature Black people, they perceive that persistent negative messages about Black people still exist and influence youth perspectives of Black people.

Confirmatory factor analysis of the BMMQ revealed a 3 scale (Black Media Message Belief, Black Media Message TV Frequency and Black Media Message Magazine Frequency) six-factor solution. …

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