Siblings as Ethnic-Racial Socialization Agents: A Call For Research

Document Type


Publication Date



Research illustrating the adverse impact of discrimination and the increasing ethnic and racial diversity in the United States has resulted in a substantial body of work examining risk and protective factors for marginalized and ethnic and racial minority individuals. One factor that has received considerable attention over the past several decades is ethnic–racial socialization (ERS). Extant empirical research on ERS has heavily focused on parents, especially mothers, as socialization agents. What is noticeably missing from this literature is the potentially important roles of siblings as salient ERS agents. After briefly illustrating the focus of past research on parents as ERS agents, we review the theoretical justification for studying siblings in the ERS process and the very limited research on siblings’ role in ERS-related processes. We close with a discussion of the important considerations for future researchers investigating sibling ERS.


This article was originally published as Su-Russell, C., & Finan, L. (2022). Sibling’s as ethnic-racial socialization agents: A call for research. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, (Early View). https://doi.org/10.1002/cad.20476.