Current Research Projects

Dr. Mia Smith-Bynum

Racial Socialization in High Achieving African-American Boys
Very little research has documented the experiences of high-achieving African American boys. We know very little about the factors that help African American boys thrive academically. The Black Families Research Group is partnering with the Alpha Foundation to conduct research on African American boys in participating in a mentoring program for African American high school boys.  This research project will launch in 2015. It will investigate the factors linked to academic success. Variables assessed include but are not limited to parent-child relationship quality, racial socialization, school climate, racial identity, and self-esteem.   

"Gendered" Racial Socialization
What is the role of gender in racial socialization messages from parents and the broader community and societal contexts in African American families? With funding from the Center for Race, Gender, & Ethnicity (CRGE) at the University of Maryland, Dr. Smith-Bynum and her team sought to answer this question by conducting focus groups with over 50 African American undergraduates. Data analysis is now underway.

Racial Coping in African American Mothers & Adolescents
This project investigated the impact of racial socialization processes in African American families on the psychological functioning of adolescent children between the ages of 14 and 17 years old.  Data were collected between 2010-2012 from 113 African American mother-adolescent dyads. We are currently conducting data analysis and preparing our findings for publication.