New report looks at anti-Black racism during adolescence

Diverse group of students

A trio of UO faculty members are part of a group that just released a new report on anti-Black racism and inequity during adolescence.

The new publication from the National Scientific Council on Adolescence shares research on how racism can affect adolescent development and offers recommendations to support Black youth during their middle and high school years.

UO psychologist Jennifer Pfeifer is the co-director of the organization, which focuses on the health, education and well-being of adolescents through developmental science. She is joined on the council by the UO’s Leslie Leve, a professor of counseling psychology and associate director of the Institute of Prevention Science, and Nick Allen, a professor of clinical psychology.

“Supporting positive development for all youth includes recognizing how anti-Black racism intersects with the core needs and opportunities of adolescents,” Pfeifer said after the release of the report, “The Intersection of Adolescent Development and Anti-Black Racism.” “Adolescence is an important time to promote anti-racism to support youth now, and their futures and the communities in which they belong. This first council report summarizes the research base and makes recommendations across key contexts.”

The recommendations within the report include how to help Black youth through their communities, families, schools, social media and peers. The council hopes the recommendations can address some of the root causes of racial inequity and help mitigate and eliminate anti-Black policies, practices and attitudes.

“Experiences with racism within common contexts and spaces create different experiences for youth along racial lines,” the group wrote in a press release. “Fortunately, the monumental growth and learning that occur during adolescence make it a time when interventions and anti-racist approaches can make a real difference.”