Cognitive-Cultural Model of Identity and Violence Prevention for African American Youth

Whaley, Arthur L.
May 2003
Genetic, Social & General Psychology Monographs;May2003, Vol. 129 Issue 2, p101
Academic Journal
ABSTRACT. The author introduces a cognitive--cultural model of identity development to explain the elevated risk for violence among African American youth. The model is an extension of previous conceptual frameworks that address the dynamic interplay among cognition, culture, and self-systems. Specifically, the self is conceptualized as a cognitive structure known as schemata that contain individual and cultural elements corresponding to those aspects of identity. The model has three major components: the individual self, the cultural self, and social roles. The cognitive--cultural model posits that maladaptative behaviors such as violence are a consequence of underdevelopment or imbalance in some aspect of the self or the adoption of social roles that undermine integration of the individual self-schemata and cultural self-schemata. The implications of this cognitive--cultural model for prevention efforts, particularly Afrocentric socialization interventions targeting African American youth, are discussed.


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