The Center for Parent and Teen Communication (CPTC) offers resources for families raising teens that address character-building strategies and the wider negative messages that threaten healthy development. Active, loving parents may be particularly critical to supporting healthy development in young people of color because it counteracts the biases they endure. Too often, Black, Latinx, and Indigenous American families are exposed to parenting guidance that may not be culturally sensitive, or even undermine their approaches to parenting. Because existing research does not adequately represent a diverse set of experiences, we must seek culturally sensitive research and actively engage content experts from communities of color.
Our work addresses three questions: 1. What resources do families of color use to support positive teen identity development including ethnic-racial identity and character strengths (e.g., sense of purpose, curiosity, compassion, commitment to community)? 2. How are balanced parenting strategies best applied while using culturally specific understandings of parent-teen relationships? 3. What tools would families of color find most useful to strengthen relationships while building positive identity and character strengths in teens?
The project identifies practices and voices needed to design strengths-based, culturally responsive parenting resources. We aim to expand CPTC’s reach by identifying existing assets in families of color and developing tools and dissemination strategies that will better serve them. We will: identify partners and informants doing relevant work with families of color; conduct collaborative, exploratory research (e.g., interviews, focus groups) with stakeholders; and synthesize evidence on family-focused practices within communities of color. Findings will support our ability to produce developmentally relevant and culturally informed tools to strengthen family relationships and help teens become their best selves.