Strong Sense of Racial Identity Benefits Girls

Black girls in New York City benefit from a strong sense of racial identity. That's according to a new study on the lives of teenage African American, Caribbean and African girls in New York City, that two non-profit groups released today. The report's author is Doctor Avis Jones-DeWeever. She drew her findings from a citywide survey and focus groups with girls in three boroughs.

JONES-DEWEEVER: Those girls who really had a strong sense of self who thought that being black was a good thing were able to put up apparently self protective mechanisms with regard to self esteem.

They also got better grades at school and were more likely to practice safer sex than other girls in the study.

The report says black girls in general are bearing a big burden from the economy, as they often fill in for parents by taking extra jobs and helping with child care. But Jones-DeWeever says she also found New York City Girls: Tough and Resilient.