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An unwelcomed digital visitor in the classroom: The longitudinal impact of online racial discrimination on school achievement motivation.

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Abstract

Online racial discrimination experiences often reflect attacks on the humanity and intelligence of members of specific racial groups (e.g., African Americans and Latinos). Such experiences may have detrimental effects on academic outcomes over time. Changes in reports of online racial discrimination and academic motivation were examined among a sample of 418 African American (n = 257) and Latino (n = 161) youth in Grades 6-12. Latent growth models with parallel processes revealed that adolescents reported increases in online racial discrimination over time yet relative stability in academic motivation. Elevated rates of online racial discrimination were related to decreases in adolescents' academic motivation. This was the case even after adjusting for teacher discrimination and baseline grade point average. In addition, high initial levels of academic motivation were related to increases in adolescents' reports of online racial discrimination. Findings highlight the importance of understanding racial discrimination in online contexts when examining how race-related experiences affect the academic adjustment of adolescents of color.

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... Ten out of the 45 articles measured motivation in association with performance (Basáñez, Warren, Crano, & Unger, 2013;Butler-Barnes, Estrada-Martinez, Colin, & Jones, 2015;Hill & Wang, 2015;O'Hara, Gibbons, Weng, Gerrard, & Simons, 2012;Ramos & Sanchez, 1995;Thijs & Verkuyten, 2008;Tseng, 2004;Tynes, Del Toro, & Lozada, 2015;Wood, Kurtz-Costes, & Copping, 2011;Yuan, Weiser, & Fischer, 2016). In all of these 10 articles, motivation and performance were positively associated. ...
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Digital Youth: The Role of Media in Development recognizes the important role of digital tools in the lives of teenagers and presents both the risks and benefits of these new interactive technologies. From social networking to instant messaging to text messaging, the authors create an informative and relevant guidebook that goes beyond description to include developmental theory and implications. Also woven throughout the book is an international sensitivity and understanding that clarifies how, despite the widespread popularity of digital communication, technology use varies between groups globally. Other specific topics addressed include: Sexuality on the Internet. Online identity and self-presentation. Morality, ethics, and civic engagement. Technology and health. Violence, cyberbullying, and victimization. Excessive Internet use and addictive behavior.
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Interviews and participant observation are used to describe how ethnic minority students in an urban high school experience discrimination. The findings suggest critical variations among students that contributed to a hostile school environment. Asian American students discussed physical and verbal harassment by peers, while Black and Latino students reported discrimination by adults, such as teachers, police, and shopkeepers. Findings suggested a circular process whereby teachers preferred the Asian American students, often basing their preference on model minority beliefs, and the African American and Latino adolescents resented that teacher bias and thus harassed the Asian American students. Asian American and Latino students also expressed intraracial tensions around issues of language, immigration, and assimilation. Findings underscore the importance of exploring adolescents’ subjective experiences of discrimination.
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Using M. L. Maehr's (1984) theory of personal investment, the authors investigated associations among perceived peer relationships and achievement motivation during science class. Middle school and high school students (N = 253) completed a self-report questionnaire assessing peer classroom climate, achievement-related beliefs and values of a best friend, achievement goals, social goals, and self-efficacy. Regression analyses indicated that perceived peer relationship variables explained variance in achievement motivation. Adolescents who perceived being valued and respected by classmates were more likely to report adaptive achievement motivation. Reports of adaptive achievement motivation were also related to having a good quality friendship and a best friend who values academics. Having a poor quality friendship and perceiving classmates to be resistant to school norms were related to reports of maladaptive achievement motivation.
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Research has identified successful transitions from middle to high school as critical for students’ academic success. Identifying risks and protective factors associated with challenge or success in the early years of high school is crucial, especially for African American students who are disproportionately represented in the ranks of adolescents who underachieve in academics, receive school discipline sanctions, and drop out of high school. The present study examined risks associated with perceived discrimination and the protective function of school racial support and two aspects of African American adolescent identity (identification with academics and racial centrality). This study followed a sample of 46 low-achieving African American students through the first 2 years of high school. Findings showed that over and above the negative influence of discrimination and levels of ninth-grade classroom engagement, students’ identification with academics in the ninth grade was a strong predictor of tenth-grade classroom engagement. This finding points to the promise of identification with academics as a protective factor which could help adolescents reach their academic potential.
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The transition to high school may serve as a race/ethnicity consciousness-raising experience that stimulates the development of one’s racial/ethnic identity depending on newcomers’ racial/ethnic congruence with the student body and staff, as well as their perceived social transactions with the new school. The nature of this development was tested within samples of poor, urban, Black, White, and Latino students (n = 144). Racial/ethnic identity (group-esteem and exploration) and perceived transactions with school (academic hassles, participation, and social support) were assessed at the end of both the year prior to the transition and the transition year. The results suggested that changes over the transition to senior high school served as a race/ethnicity consciousness-raising experience for both Black and European American students but in dramatically different ways.
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The present study examined to which extent different motivational concepts contribute to the prediction of school achievement among adolescent students independently from intelligence. A sample of 342 11th and 12th graders (age M=16.94; SD=.71) was investigated. Students gave self-reports on domain-specific values, ability self-perceptions, goals, and achievement motives. Hierarchical regression and relative weights analyses were performed with grades in math and German as dependent variables and intelligence as well as motivational measures as independent variables. Beyond intelligence, different motivational constructs incrementally contributed to the prediction of school achievement. Domain-specific ability self-perceptions and values showed the highest increments whereas achievement motives and goal orientations explained less additional variance. Even when prior achievement was controlled, some motivational concepts still proved to contribute to the prediction of subsequent performance. In the light of these findings, we discuss the importance of motivation in educational contexts.
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Researchers have been concerned with whether strong racial identification promotes or inhibits achievement motivation among African American youth, but current literatures have paid little attention to the role of youths' contexts. In this study, we outline a racial identity–context congruence framework that predicts positive benefits of a strong, positive racial identity when the context is congruent with youths' beliefs. To test this framework, we examined school racial climate as a moderator in the relationships of three racial identity variables (centrality, private regard, and public regard) with intrinsic motivation for attending school in a sample of 11th graders. Overall, results support the congruence perspective and also demonstrate how feelings of belonging at school mediate the relationship between racial identity–racial climate congruence and school intrinsic motivation.
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Research shows, for African American adolescents, issues of school belonging, identification, and engagement are critical to academic performance and successful completion of high school. In the existing literature, school belonging has been significantly linked with teacher support, peer relations, motivation, engagement, and academic performance. This paper reviews major findings on school belonging for this group of students, and offers future directions for research.
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For half a century, psychologist Albert Bandura has worked to advance a cognitive interactional model of human functioning that emphasizes the role of cognitive and symbolic representations as central processes in human adaptation and change. In his seminal 1977 publication, Bandura emphasized that these representations – visualized actions and outcomes stemming from reflective thought – form the basis from which individuals assess their personal efficacy. An efficacy belief, he contended, is the “conviction that one can successfully execute the behavior required to produce the outcomes” one desires (p. 193). Efficacy beliefs serve as the primary means by which people are able to exercise a measure of control over their lives. During the next two decades, Bandura (1986, 1997) advanced his social cognitive theory, in which people are viewed as self-organizing, proactive, self-reflecting, and self-regulating rather than as solely reactive organisms, products of environmental or concealed inner influences. From this agentic perspective, people are seen as contributors to their life circumstances, not just recipients of them. In this way, people are “partial architects of their own destinies” (Bandura, 1997, p. 8).
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In the current study, we examined the precursors and consequences of discrimination for 876 Latino, African American, and Asian American adolescents (Mage = 16.9 years, SD = 0.43). The race/ethnic characteristics of schools and neighborhoods influenced adolescents' perceptions of the race/ethnic climates of these contexts. In turn, adolescents who viewed climates more negatively were more likely to perceive discriminatory treatment by school personnel, peers, and societal institutions. Discrimination from these 3 sources exerted differential influence on developmental outcomes: Greater discrimination from school personnel was associated with poorer academic performance, greater discrimination from peers was associated with more psychological maladjustment, and greater societal discrimination was associated with heightened racial awareness. Relations were consistent across race/ethnic groups and gender. Implications for intervening to reduce racial discrimination and other social stigmas are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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Mastery goals have been linked to adaptive outcomes in normative goal theory and research; performance goals, to less adaptive outcomes. In contrast, approach performance goals may be adaptive for some outcomes under a revised goal theory perspective. The current study addresses the role of multiple goals, both mastery and approach performance goals, and links them to multiple outcomes of motivation, affect, strategy use, and performance. Data were collected over 3 waves from 8th and 9th graders ( N = 150) in their math classrooms using both self-report questionnaires and actual math grades. There was a general decline in adaptive outcomes over time, but these trends were moderated by the different patterns of multiple goals. In line with normative goal theory, mastery goals were adaptive; but also in line with the revised goal theory perspective, approach performance goals, when coupled with mastery goals, were just as adaptive. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Focuses on the development of one type of motivational process: perceived self-efficacy. It is noted that much research shows that self-efficacy influences academic motivation, learning, and achievement (F. Pajares, 1996; D. H. Schunk, 1995). The authors initially provide theoretical background information on self-efficacy to show its relation to other similar motivation constructs. The bulk of the chapter is devoted to research on the development of self-efficacy in children and adolescents. The chapter concludes with suggested research directions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study uses two waves of data to examine the relations among racial discrimination experiences, patterns of racial socialization practices, and psychological adjustment in a sample of 361 African American adolescents. Using latent class analyses, we identified four patterns of child-reported racial socialization experiences: Moderate Positive, High Positive, Low Frequency, and Moderate Negative. Experiencing racial discrimination was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms, more perceived stress, and lower levels of well-being. On average, adolescents who experienced High Positive patterns of racial socialization reported the most positive psychological adjustment outcomes, while adolescents in the Low Frequency and Moderate Negative clusters reported the least favorable outcomes. Results suggest that High Positive racial socialization buffers the negative effects of racial discrimination on adolescents' perceived stress and problem behaviors. Together, the findings suggest that various patterns of racial socialization practices serve as risk, compensatory, and protective factors in African American adolescent psychological adjustment.
Article
This short-term longitudinal study investigated 918 students' school-related affect across the transition to high school. The study focused specifically on the moderating effect of change in student ethnic congruence from middle to high school. Results indicate that students experiencing more ethnic incongruence from middle to high school, in particular African American and male students, reported declining feelings of school belonging over time. Moreover, students experiencing ethnic incongruence also had increasing worries about their academic success. These results suggest that the changing school demographics from middle school to high school may negatively impact students' school-related affect, especially if they move to high schools which include fewer students who are ethnically similar to themselves.
Article
A Monte Carlo simulation examined the performance of 4 missing data methods in structural equation models: full information maximum likelihood (FIML), listwise deletion, pairwise deletion, and similar response pattern imputation. The effects of 3 independent variables were examined (factor loading magnitude, sample size, and missing data rate) on 4 outcome measures: convergence failures, parameter estimate bias, parameter estimate efficiency, and model goodness of fit. Results indicated that FIML estimation was superior across all conditions of the design. Under ignorable missing data conditions (missing completely at random and missing at random), FIML estimates were unbiased and more efficient than the other methods. In addition, FIML yielded the lowest proportion of convergence failures and provided near-optimal Type 1 error rates across both simulations.
Chapter
From the time individuals first enter school until they complete their formal schooling, children and adolescents spend more time in schools than in any other place outside their homes. Exploring all of the possible ways in which educational institutions influence motivation and development during adolescence is beyond the scope of a single chapter. In this chapter I discuss the ways in which schools influence adolescents' social- emotional and behavioral development through organizational, social, and instructional processes ranging from those based in the immediate, proximal relation between students and the tasks they are asked to perform to the role that principals and the school boards play in setting school-level and district-level policies, which in turn influence the social organization of the entire school community. I discuss at length three examples of the ways in which these multiple organizational levels interact synergistically to influence adolescent development through their impact on the daily experiences that adolescents in the United States encounter as they move through the American school system. The first example focuses on the role of school transitions, the second on the role of curricular tracking, and the third on extracurricular activities. Few of these processes have been studied in countries other than the United States. I assume similar processes are true in other countries, but this remains to be demonstrated empirically.
Article
This study investigated whether parental racial socialization practices moderated the relation between racial discrimination in school and adolescents' educational outcomes. Using data from a longitudinal study of an economically diverse sample of 630 African American adolescents (mean age = 14.5) from a major East Coast metropolis, the results revealed that cultural socialization attenuated the effect of teacher discrimination on grade point average (GPA) and educational aspirations, as well as the effect of peer discrimination on GPA. Also, preparation for bias and cultural socialization interacted to make unique contributions to African American adolescents' educational outcomes. Finally, there was some evidence that teacher discrimination was more detrimental to the academic engagement of African American males than females. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Article
Recent research suggests that although ethnic discrimination may have negative consequences for psychological well-being among youth of Chinese descent as it does for other ethnic groups, ethnic identity beliefs may buffer against such effects. Data for this study were drawn from the Early Adolescent Cohort Study, an investigation of contextual influences on the social, emotional, and academic adjustment of youth in ethnically diverse New York City middle schools. The present study sample consists of Chinese American (n=84) and African American (n=119) sixth graders. Results suggest that Chinese American youths’ own positive affect toward their ethnic group (private regard) was positively associated with higher self-esteem. In addition, the more favorably Chinese American youth perceived that others view their group (public regard), the fewer depressive symptoms they reported. In addition, among Chinese American youth, more favorable public regard attenuated the negative relationship between peer ethnic discrimination and depressive symptoms. The implications of these findings are discussed in light of the commonalities among ethnic and racial minority groups’ experiences of discrimination as well as the unique challenges that Chinese American youth face.
Article
Guided by the academic resilience perspective, the current longitudinal study examined whether academic motivation mediated the relation between Latino adolescents' (N = 221) experiences with discrimination and their academic success. The potential moderating role of gender was also examined. Using multiple group analysis in structural equation modeling, findings indicated that perceived discrimination at Wave 2 significantly predicted academic motivation at Waves 2 and 3 for boys but not girls. Additionally, for boys, academic motivation significantly mediated the relation between perceived discrimination and academic success. Findings underscore the importance of considering the long-term implications of discrimination for Latino boys' academic success. Furthermore, findings encourage moving beyond the examination of gender differences in specific academic outcomes (e.g., academic success) and focusing on how the processes leading to academic success vary by gender.
Article
Changes in perceptions of discrimination were examined with 668 Latino students (62% Mexican American; 56% female; M(age) = 14.6 years). Adolescents' reports of discrimination increased across the first 2 years of high school. Perceptions of discrimination were higher for boys and for primary language brokers, as well as for adolescents in schools with more ethnically diverse student bodies but a less diverse teaching staff. Path analysis revealed that higher levels of discrimination and increases in discrimination across time influenced Latino adolescents' academic outcomes (i.e., grades, absences) indirectly via their influences on perceptions of school climate. Findings highlight previously understudied individual and school contextual factors that shape experiences of discrimination and the mechanisms by which discrimination indirectly influences Latino adolescents' outcomes.