The purpose of this critical review is to examine the relationship between ethnic‐racial socialization (ERS) and African American mental health outcomes to identify the potential value of ERS in psychotherapy. Using the systematic research synthesis (SRS) process, we identified 21 peer‐reviewed studies that investigated the relationship between ERS and mental health outcomes such as anger, depression, and self‐esteem. We also included articles that tested ERS as a moderator of the relationship between discrimination experiences and mental health. The results support ERS as a protective factor against negative mental health outcomes. Importantly, ERS messages that emphasize culture and racial pride may be more consistently associated with positive outcomes than ERS messages that focus on preparing for racial bias. We also provide implications and suggestions for researchers wanting to expand the ERS literature and clinicians interested in incorporating ERS in their therapeutic practice and parent‐training programs.


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