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School Cultural Socialization and Academic Performance: Examining Ethnic‐Racial Identity Development as a Mediator Among African American Adolescents

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School Cultural Socialization and Academic Performance: Examining Ethnic‐Racial Identity Development as a Mediator Among African American Adolescents

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Abstract

Historic racial disparities in the United States have created an urgent need for evidence‐based strategies promoting African American students’ academic performance via school‐based ethnic‐racial socialization and identity development. However, the temporal order among socialization, identity, and academic performance remains unclear in extant literature. This longitudinal study examined whether school cultural socialization predicted 961 African American adolescents’ grade point averages through their ethnic‐racial identities (49.6% males; Mage = 13.60; 91.9% qualified for free lunch). Results revealed that youth who perceived more school cultural socialization had better grades 1 and 2 years later. In addition, identity commitment (but not exploration) fully mediated these relations. Implications for how educators can help adolescents of color succeed in schools are discussed.

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... Latinx students are described as disruptive and are rated with lower literacy and mathematical abilities when taught by white teachers compared to Latinx teachers (Redding 2019). Teachers' understanding and promotion of students' cultural or racial/ethnic identities may lead to better overall wellbeing and academic outcomes for minoritized students (Del Toro and Wang 2021). ...
... Teachers' ethnic prejudice creates socially and spatially segregated classrooms and puts refugee children at higher risk of peer violence (Alan Sule et al. 2021). Teachers may have biases about students' physical appearance in the form of 'anti-obesity' biases (Sabine, Beverborg, and Muller 2016, 97) and have lower expectations of students based on race or parents' educational attainment (Del Toro and Wang 2021;van Ewijk 2011). The intersection of students' identities (e.g. ...
... The presence or absence of these organizational factors in schools can result in educational inequities at individual, school, county, state, and national levels. There is also growing concern about minority students' school engagement given classroom and school climate may decrease engagement due to limited recognition of students' culture and identity (Oyserman and Destin 2010;Del Toro and Wang 2021). Consequently, identifying and addressing teacher bias may be a significant factor in ensuring educational equity for diverse students. ...
Article
This integrative review examined correlates, mechanisms, and consequences of teacher bias experienced in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade in primary and secondary schools in the United States. Education Resource and Information Center, Sociological Abstracts, and Applied Social Science Index & Abstracts were searched to identify peer-reviewed articles published in English from 2000–2020. Thirty-one articles were included. The majority (65%) of studies were qualitative and explored teachers’ and students’ perceptions of teacher bias or differential student treatment. Teacher bias was associated with students’ race, ethnicity, immigration status, obesity, mental and physical disabilities. Behaviors associated with teacher bias included exclusionary discipline, microaggressions, name mispronunciations, and disproportionate gifted and special education referrals. Few studies quantitatively measured teacher bias suggesting methodological limitations in this body of evidence. Future research should employ objective measures of teacher bias. Research synthesis suggests teacher bias plays a significant role in teachers’ perceptions of and behaviors towards diverse students.
... Extant measures of school-based discrimination have typically aggregated items addressing interpersonal discrimination (e.g., receiving a lower grade than deserved, being called on less in class, perceiving low expectations due to race) with those addressing unfair disciplinary practices (Fisher et al., 2000;Wong et al., 2003). Moreover, youth who search for information about their racial group membership (i.e., ethnic-racial identity exploration; Phinney & Ong, 2007) are more readily able to perceive and attribute unfair treatment to discrimination (Del Toro et al., 2020). Lastly, youth who attend more racially diverse schools also report more discrimination from other perpetrators (e.g., law enforcement; Hagan et al., 2005). ...
... Our results remained robust, even after accounting for adolescents' perceived discrimination from teachers, ethnic-racial identity exploration, and school racial diversity. Self-reported discrimination and ethnic-racial identity exploration are proxies for youth who are attuned to racial discrimination (Del Toro et al., 2020); that is, youth who perceive more discrimination or who engage in more ethnic-racial identity exploration may attribute more unfair treatment to discrimination than their peers who are less attuned to such dynamics. In addition, students who attend more racially diverse schools may be exposed to more conflicts between racial groups (Hughes et al., 2016). ...
... In turn, this unintentionally biased discretion contributes to the overrepresentation of African American youth receiving minor infraction suspensions (Fabelo et al., 2011;Losen, 2013). Recently, scholars have proposed a number of strength-based and culturally responsive approaches to lower rates of discretionary discipline referrals, including increases in educators' perceptions of accountability and a reduced sense of crime-control in schools (Del Toro & Wang, 2020;Swencionis & Goff, 2017). For instance, research has demonstrated that individuals are less likely to behave in biased ways when they know their decision-making processes will be reviewed by others (Ford et al., 2004); ergo, a system in which educators are held accountable for frequent referral rates may help constrain biases that lead to inequitable disciplinary responses. ...
Article
African American adolescents are grossly overrepresented in rates of school suspensions for minor disciplinary infractions; however, the consequences associated with this disciplinary practice are unknown. African American adolescents who were suspended for minor infractions may perceive school rules and adults as unfair and illegitimate, and these poor perceptions toward school may compromise their social and interpersonal resources necessary for academic success. The present study investigates: (a) whether suspensions for minor infractions predict lower school grades longitudinally, and (b) whether poor school climate perceptions mediate the longitudinal link between suspensions for minor infractions and school grades. Based on 3 years of school records and social survey data from 2,381 adolescents (35% African American, 65% White), results illustrated that more African American adolescents were suspended for minor infractions than their White peers who committed similar infractions. In addition, African American adolescents suspended for minor infractions also had lower grades 1 and 2 years later. The longitudinal relation between suspensions for minor infractions and subsequent grades was partially mediated by African American adolescents' school climate perceptions. Implications are discussed in relation to racial biases and developmentally appropriate, equitable disciplinary practices. Public Significance Statement: The present study shows that more African American youth are suspended for minor infractions than White youth. In addition, these suspensions predicted poor school grades and school climate perceptions for African American youth. These findings raise concerns about school adults' discretion in using punitive school discipline policies and practices, as they may be contributing to academic disparities. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Previous research has shown that school instruction and practices that incorporate adolescents' culture are important for engagement and belonging (e.g., Aronson & Laughter, 2016;Dotterer et al., 2009;Howard, 2001;Schachner et al., 2019;Young, 2010). Del Toro & Wang (2021) found that school cultural socialization was assoicated with better grades over time and the associations were mediated by ethnic-racial identity. However, other research in racially minoritized samples suggests that adolescents' perceptions of cultural socialization in school may not be directly associated with academic outcomes like belonging, interest, and academic self-concept (Byrd, 2015(Byrd, , 2016. ...
... Consistent with theory (Aronson & Laughter, 2016;Young, 2010) and in contrast to our hypotheses, cultural socialization was a positive predictor of students' school belonging and school engagement. The findings suggest that positive opportunities to learn or engage about one's own racial/ethnic culture may allow youth to internalize positive messages about their race and increase students' positive experiences within school (Del Toro & Wang, 2021). For example, school staff may look for ways to celebrate and appreciate students' cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity. ...
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Experiences with race-related stressors at school are linked to negative academic consequences, such as lowered belonging and engagement. One factor known to buffer racial stressors is ethnic-racial socialization (ERS). Although students receive ERS messages in school, less is known about how school ERS may reduce the negative consequences of school race-related stress (SRS) on youth's academic outcomes. To date no studies have examined the moderating effects of school ERS on SRS and whether the associations vary for African American and Latinx youth. Thus, the current study examined the direct effects of SRS and school ERS on youth's academic well-being, the moderating role of school ERS against SRS, and whether these associations varied for African American and Latinx youth. Multiple group regression analysis with 221 African American and 219 Latinx adolescents demonstrated that SRS was negatively associated with the academic outcomes. Cultural socialization was associated with more positive outcomes. Furthermore, there were significant interactions between SRS and color-evasive socialization, such that SRS was associated with lower belonging at higher compared to lower levels of color-evasive messages. Additionally, SRS was associated with less school engagement for those who reported high color-evasive socialization messages, but there was no association for those who reported low color-evasive messages. The results indicate that color-evasive school ERS messages can exacerbate the negative associations between SRS and academic well-being for both African American and Latinx youth and highlight how school racialized experiences may have unique or similar effects across groups. Implications for culturally relevant school practices and interventions are discussed.
... 45,46 These professionals may also benefit from systematic training in racial literacy and resources to help youths cope with racially traumatic events within communities. 45,47 In addition, practitioners may want to give special attention to understanding how processes of ethnicÀracial socialization have operated within families. When parents feel underprepared to discuss racism and racist events, family conversations about these topics may contribute to greater externalizing and internalizing symptomatology among youths. ...
Article
Objective To determine whether rates of online racial discrimination changed over the course of 2020 and their longitudinal effects on Black youth’s mental health. Method This longitudinal study collected 18,454 daily assessments from a nationally representative sample of 602 Black and White adolescents in the United States (58% Black, 42% White; Mage = 15.09, SDage = 1.56) across 58 days during the heightened racial tensions between March and November 2020. Results Black youth experienced increases in online racial discrimination, and these increases were not fully explained by time spent online nor general cybervictimization experiences. Online racial discrimination predicted poorer same- and next-day mental health among Black youth but not among White youth. Black youth’s mental health did not predict their online racial discrimination experiences. Conclusion Online racial discrimination has implications for shaping mental health disparities that disadvantage Black youth relative to their White peers. Programs can be implemented to decrease online hate crimes, and health providers (e.g., pediatricians, psychiatrists) should develop procedures that mitigate the negative mental health effects following online racial discrimination experiences.
... But, initial evidence is promising. Del Toro and Wang (2021), for example, found that adolescent African American males who perceived more school cultural socialization had higher academic achievement via ethnicracial identity commitment and development. Moreover, it is possible that healthy racial and ethnic socialization in schools would not only assist youth in dealing with the ubiquitous realities of discrimination, but also encourage youth not to be perpetrators of discrimination themselves. ...
Article
A growing body of research links interpersonal racial and ethnic discrimination to adverse youth outcomes. Yet, studies examining the relevance of neighborhood context for discrimination are sparse. This study examines neighborhood-level variation in the incidence and impact of perceived racial and ethnic discrimination on depressive symptoms, suicidal behavior, violent behavior, and substance use. Hierarchical regression models on a sample of 1333 African American and Hispanic youth (52.44% female; x̄ = 13.03 years, SD = 3.25 at wave 1) residing in 238 Chicago neighborhoods from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods indicated little to no neighborhood-level variation in the incidence and impact of discrimination. Findings suggest that the experience of discrimination among youth of color is ubiquitous.
... Seventh, students' active participation toward learning is important for their academic success (Boaler, 2013), but other forms of engagement (i.e., school liking) matter as well. Lastly, we did not examine possible internal or external protective factors (e.g., ethnic-racial socialization; Del Toro & Wang, 2021a, 2021b) that may buffer the impact of police stops. Scholars should take these omissions into account in future research. ...
Article
Negative interactions with the legal system can inform adolescents' relationships with schools. The present daily-diary study examined 13,545 daily survey assessments from 387 adolescents (Mage = 13-14; 40% male; 32% Black, 50% White, and 18% Other ethnic-racial minority) across 35 days to assess whether police stops predicted adolescents' school disengagement through their psychological distress as a mediator. Results showed that 9% of youth experienced at least one police stop, and 66 stops occurred in total over the 35-day study course. Youth stopped by the police reported greater next-day school disengagement, and youth's psychological distress mediated the link between police stops and school disengagement. Disengagement did not predict youth's next-day police stops. In addition, ethnic-racial minority youth reported more negative police encounters than did White youth, and the effect of a police stop on next-day psychological distress was more negative for Other ethnic-racial minority youth. Implications for reducing police intervention in adolescents' lives are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... This exploration process unfolds within the sociohistorical context of the U.S. education system, in which there is a significant ethnic-racial mismatch between public school teachers (79% White) and their students (48% Hussar et al., 2020), as well as widespread calls for teachers to improve their competencies for addressing ethnic-racial-related issues in the classroom (Quintana & Mahgoub, 2016). Prior research has pointed to the promise that emerges for adolescent ERI development when educators become positive changemakers, including the adoption of culturally sustaining pedagogy and other promotive school cultural socialization practices that allow students to bring their identities into the classroom (Del Toro & Wang, 2021;Paris, 2012;Umaña-Taylor et al., 2018). In line with this prior research, our findings suggest that intervention is essential to build supportive contexts in which teachers and other adult school leaders build equity by affording positive opportunities for all students to learn about their ERI in school. ...
Article
Cultural‐ecological theories posit that ethnic‐racial identity (ERI) development is shaped by transactions between contexts of ethnic‐racial socialization, yet research considering intersections among multiple contexts is limited. In this study, Black, Latino, White, and Asian American adolescents (N = 98; Mage = 16.26, SD = 1.09; 55.1% female identifying) participated in surveys and focus group discussions (2013–2014) to share insights into ERI development in context. Using consensual qualitative research, results indicated: (a) family ethnic‐racial socialization intersects with community‐based, peer, media, and school socialization; (b) ethnic‐racial socialization occurs outside family through intersections between peer, school, community‐based, and media settings; and (c) ethnic‐racial socialization is embedded within systems of racial oppression across contexts. Discussion includes implications for future research and interventions supporting youth ERI.
... The benefits of cultural socialization might be attributed to the sense of pride and affection gained from group membership, which then stimulate resilience (Yip, 2018). Indeed, Del Toro and Wang (2020) found that ethnic-racial identity commitment or the sense of group pride mediated the relationship between Black students school cultural socialization and their academic success. Further evidence of the role of PSOC in ethnic-racial identity development (Kenyon & Carter, 2011) and the mutual influence of ethnicracial identity on PSOC (Back & Keys, 2020) also exists. ...
Article
Ethnic-racial background may influence college students' psychological sense of community (PSOC). Thus, it is critical to examine whether this construct is conceptualized similarly between non-Hispanic, Black and Hispanic students. This study tested the measurement invariance of the Brief Sense of Community Scale (BSCS) across the two groups. We used data from a self-administered online survey provided to college students in 2016 in a Northeastern urban university (non-Hispanic, Black = 307; Hispanic = 409). We tested the measurement invariance of the BSCS using a series of nested multigroup confirmatory factor analyses with increasingly restrictive sets of parameters. Measurement invariance of the BSCS across non-Hispanic, Black and Hispanic college students was achieved. The BSCS successfully measures the multi-dimensionality of PSOC across the two groups in a college setting. Students' score on the BSCS is not biased by measurement invariance related to cultural influences. When using the BSCS, community psychologists and researchers can have confidence that the observed differences in PSOC across non-Hispanic, Black and Hispanic college students are attributable to true differences rather than a cultural understanding of the construct.
... Policymakers can support this movement by encouraging schools to implement school-wide multicultural curriculums and include diversity-and equity-focused elective courses while providing schools the necessary funding and resources to carry out these tasks. Inclusion of such curricula has been associated with better grades and lower truancy among ethnic-racial minority students (Dee & Penner, 2017;Del Toro & Wang, 2020). These collective efforts to integrate and celebrate culture and diversity can optimize African American students' school experiences so as to ultimately promote their academic performance. ...
Article
The question of whether schools should promote cultural pride and engage students in ethnic traditions is hotly contested. To contribute to this debate, this longitudinal study examined whether school cultural socialization predicted adolescents' engagement in school over time and whether this relation was mediated by school climate. Data were collected in four waves during a two-year period from 254 African American fifth-graders (53.9% males; Mage = 10.95 at Wave 1) enrolled in three public middle schools. Results revealed that African American youth who reported more school cultural socialization also had greater school engagement over time. This longitudinal relation was fully mediated by youth's perceptions of school climate. Implications for how to promote African American youth's perceptions of schools as culturally sensitive and supportive environments are discussed.
... The longitudinal inter-relations were non-significant for both African American and European American students when cognitive engagement was the outcome. As youth of color constantly perceive and experience ethnic-racial discrimination that can compromise their success in school (Del Toro and Hughes 2019), researchers have called for identifying cultural assets to assist youth of color with navigating subordinated ecologies and achieving their academic potential (Del Toro and Wang 2020). In line with the integrative model for the study of developmental competencies in minority children (Garcia Coll et al. 1996) and recent empirical research , this study revealed that African American adolescents are more likely to stay engaged in school when they receive cultural socialization messages from their school environments that are intended to promote esteem, competence, and ethnicracial belonging. ...
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Racially disparate school disciplinary practices create inequitable circumstances for minority and immigrant youth around the world. In the U.S., Black youth are more likely than their White peers to be suspended for minor, non-violent infractions. This study explores (a) whether school cultural socialization practices reported by Black students (N = 544; Mage (SD) = 12.45 (1.57); 49% boys) and teachers (N = 38; 84% female) were linked to a reduced likelihood of receiving suspensions for minor infractions and (b) the extent to which Black students' perceptions of school climate mediated this relation. Results indicated that school cultural socialization was linked to a decreased likelihood of being suspended for a minor infraction and improved school climate perceptions for Black students. Black students’ perception of school climate mediated the link between school cultural socialization and suspensions for minor infractions. These results highlight school cultural socialization as a promising approach for increasing cultural responsivity and equity within schools, reducing racial bias, and expunging unjust disciplinary responses.
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One point of intersection in ethnic and racial identity research is the conceptual attention paid to how positively youth feel about their ethnicity or race, or positive ethnic–racial affect. This article reports results of a series of meta-analyses based on 46 studies of this dimension and psychosocial, academic, and health risk outcomes among ethnic and racial minority youth. The overall pattern of results suggests that positive ethnic–racial affect exhibited small to medium associations (r range = |.11| to |.37|) with depressive symptoms, positive social functioning, self-esteem, well-being, internalizing, externalizing, academic achievement, academic attitudes, and health risk outcomes. Implications for theory and research about the role of positive ethnic–racial affect among youth growing up in an increasingly diverse society are discussed.
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The current study examined how parental ethnic socialization informed adolescents' ethnic identity development and, in turn, youths' psychosocial functioning (i.e., mental health, social competence, academic efficacy, externalizing behaviors) among 749 Mexican-origin families. In addition, school ethnic composition was examined as a moderator of these associations. Findings indicated that mothers' and fathers' ethnic socialization were significant longitudinal predictors of adolescents' ethnic identity, although fathers' ethnic socialization interacted significantly with youths' school ethnic composition in 5(th) grade to influence ethnic identity in 7(th) grade. Furthermore, adolescents' ethnic identity was significantly associated with increased academic self-efficacy and social competence, and decreased depressive symptoms and externalizing behaviors. Findings support theoretical predictions regarding the central role parents play in Mexican-origin adolescents' normative developmental processes and adjustment and, importantly, underscore the need to consider variability that is introduced into these processes by features of the social context such as school ethnic composition.
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In the midst of discussions about improving education, teacher education, equity, and diversity, little has been done to make pedagogy a central area of investigation. This article attempts to challenge notions about the intersection of culture and teaching that rely solely on microanalytic or macroanalytic perspectives. Rather, the article attempts to build on the work done in both of these areas and proposes a culturally relevant theory of education. By raising questions about the location of the researcher in pedagogical research, the article attempts to explicate the theoretical framework of the author in the nexus of collaborative and reflexive research. The pedagogical practices of eight exemplary teachers of African-American students serve as the investigative "site." Their practices and reflections on those practices provide a way to define and recognize culturally relevant pedagogy.
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The current study examined the longitudinal associations between family ethnic socialization and youths' ethnic identity among a sample of Mexican-origin youth (N = 178, Mage = 18.17, SD = .46). Findings from multiple-group cross lagged panel models over a 2-year period indicated that for U.S.-born youth with immigrant parents, the process appeared to be family driven: Youths' perceptions of family ethnic socialization in late adolescence were associated with significantly greater ethnic identity exploration and resolution in emerging adulthood, while youths' ethnic identity during late adolescence did not significantly predict youths' future perceptions of family ethnic socialization. Conversely, for U.S.-born youth with U.S. born parents, youths' ethnic identity significantly predicted their future perceptions of family ethnic socialization but perceptions of family ethnic socialization did not predict future levels of youths' ethnic identity, suggesting a youth-driven process. Findings were consistent for males and females. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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We hypothesised a gender specific relationship between efficacy and three components of racial identity, feeling that achievement is part of being black, feeling connected to the black community, and sensitivity to, awareness of outgroup barriers and racism. Because male gender socialisation downplays relationality, the "connectedness" component of racial identity was posited to be particularly helpful for boys. Because female gender socialisation downplays independent achievement and agency, the "achievement" component of racial identity was posited to be particularly helpful for girls in buffering the negative effects of the "awareness of racism" component. Controlling for fall grades and academic efficacy, fall racial identity significantly predicted spring academic efficacy differentially for boys and girls (n = 91 African-American eighth graders), with the lack of the achievement component of racial identity being particularly detrimental to girls.
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The authors examined whether the longitudinal inter‐relations between ethnic‐racial discrimination and ethnic‐racial identity vary according to the perpetrator of discrimination. The authors used three waves of data from early adolescents (n = 387; ages 11–12 at Wave 1) to assess the strength and direction of relations between perceived discrimination from non‐school adults and peers vis‐à‐vis ethnic‐racial identity exploration, commitment, private regard, and public regard. Cross‐lagged autoregressive path analyses showed that more frequent discrimination, regardless of source, had reciprocal and significant longitudinal inter‐relations with exploration and public regard. Peer discrimination predicted lower commitment and private regard 1 year later, whereas non‐school adult discrimination did not. Implications are discussed in relation to the role of peers and ethnic‐racial identity processes.
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Research on parental educational involvement has been organized into three overarching domains—home-based involvement, school-based involvement, and academic socialization. Conventional empirical work in these domains typically centers involvement strategies around White, middle-class experiences rather than examining how optimal parenting approaches vary by race and context. Even fewer studies have explored the manifestations of involvement across these categories in underresourced urban educational settings. In response, the current study draws on the voices of African American parents and their children attending urban public schools to describe the distinct approaches to home-based involvement, school-based involvement, and academic socialization that parents use to ensure a quality education for their children. Findings demonstrate how African American parents engage in racially infused and contextually tailored navigational involvement approaches as they seek to offset the effects of inhibiting educational contexts. Results add ecological nuance and new typologies to how parental involvement in education is conceptualized across the settings.
Chapter
This chapter's goal is to interrogate the intersectional significance of race and socioeconomic status for children of varied statuses of human vulnerability. It provides a context-connected, culture acknowledging, systems model and identity formation perspective. This strategy is ideal for delineating behavioral consistencies (and interpreting inconsistencies). When operationalized with programming opportunities, it accommodates the nation's diversity and aids the interpretation of findings. This chapter is divided into several sections: First, it interrogates critical insights afforded by a "resiliency-vulnerability" approach; second, it draws attention to the roles of culture, culturally competent practices, and justice-informed contexts for children's perception-based "meaning making" as each-increasingly with age-navigates multiple social ecologies. Third, it shifts to and emphasizes the intersectionally relevant factors of race (e.g., identifiability and skin color stereotyping) and socioeconomic status (i.e., both low resourced and privileging situations); and following a synthesis of the previous sections-as Section 4-it then frames the cumulative and integrated conceptual strategy (phenomenological variant of ecological systems theory: PVEST). In Section 5, the chapter presents theory-focused exemplars to illustrate the theory's efficacy, which are followed by results of two recent preliminary application projects. Salient is that the two projects presenting preliminary findings add to and afford important child development insights salient as strategies for neutralizing intersectionality effects and maximizing resiliency outcomes. To sum, synthesizing several decades of scholarship, theorizing, contemporary research and programming application efforts, the handbook chapter concludes with suggested strategies for creating more informed policies and practices relevant to all children's overall resiliency, healthy development and well-being.
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Increased attention is being placed on the importance of ethnic‐racial socialization in children of color's academic outcomes. Synthesizing research on the effects of parental ethnic‐racial socialization, this meta‐analysis of 37 studies reveals that overall the relation between ethnic‐racial socialization and academic outcomes was positive, though the strength varied by the specific academic outcome under consideration, dimension of ethnic‐racial socialization utilized, developmental age of the child receiving the socialization, and racial/ethnic group implementing the socialization. Ethnic‐racial socialization was positively related to academic performance, motivation, and engagement, with motivation being the strongest outcome. Most dimensions of ethnic‐racial socialization were positively related to academic outcomes, except for promotion of mistrust. In addition, the link between ethnic‐racial socialization and academic outcomes was strongest for middle school and college students, and when looking across ethnic‐racial groups, this link was strongest for African American youth. The results suggest that different dimensions of ethnic‐racial socialization have distinct relationships with diverse academic outcomes and that the effects of ethnic‐racial socialization vary by both youth developmental levels and racial/ethnic groups.
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Although minor misconduct is normative in adolescence, such behavior may be met with punishment in American schools. As part of a punitive disciplinary approach, teachers may give adolescents official infractions for minor misconduct-that is, a minor infraction-presumably to deter future problem behavior. This article investigates three arguments that challenge the wisdom of this assumption and considers the potentially detrimental effects of minor infractions: (a) minor infractions increase, rather than deter, adolescents' defiant behavior; (b) these effects are exacerbated among adolescents who are highly attached to school; and (c) teachers' punishment of minor misconduct may be racially biased, resulting in African American students receiving more minor infractions than White students. To test these hypotheses, 729 adolescents' school disciplinary records were analyzed over 1 academic year. Longitudinal multilevel analyses were conducted to assess (a) if receiving minor infractions predicted later increases in infractions for defiant behavior at the within-student level, (b) whether adolescents' attachment to school moderated this association, and (c) if a disparity existed between African American and White students' average level of minor infractions. Results indicated that minor infractions predicted subsequent rises in defiant behavior, and this link was exacerbated for adolescents who reported initially high levels, but not low levels, of school attachment. Furthermore, African American students received more minor infractions than White students, controlling for a host of risk factors for school misconduct. Findings are discussed in relation to American school discipline policies and African Americans' persistent overrepresentation in school discipline and the criminal justice system. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
The detrimental effects of discrimination are well documented; however, the influence of ethnic/racial identity (ERI) on this association is equivocal. There is theoretical and empirical support for both protective and detrimental effects of ERI. This meta-analysis includes 53 effect sizes from 51 studies and 18,545 participants spanning early adolescence to adulthood to synthesize the interaction of ERI and discrimination for adjustment outcomes. Consistent with existing meta-analyses, discrimination was associated with compromised adjustment; further, this effect was buffered by overall ERI particularly for academic and physical health outcomes. Different ERI dimensions and adjustment outcomes revealed important patterns. ERI exploration increased vulnerabilities associated with discrimination, particularly for negative mental health and risky health behaviors. The exacerbating influence of ERI exploration was strongest at age 24, and more recent publications reported weaker exacerbating effects. In contrast, ERI commitment conferred protection. A composite score of ERI exploration and commitment also conferred protection against discrimination. Sample demographics mattered. The buffering effect of ERI commitment was stronger for Latinx (compared with Asian heritage) individuals. The buffering effect of public regard was stronger for Asian heritage (compared with African heritage) individuals. For positive mental health outcomes, a composite score of ERI exploration and commitment had a stronger buffering effect for Latinx (compared with African heritage) individuals. For risky health behaviors, Latinx individuals reported a stronger buffering effect of ERI (compared with African heritage and Asian heritage) individuals. The current meta-analysis identifies gaps in the literature and offers suggestions for future research.
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As the United States becomes more diverse, the ways in which mainstream institutions recognize and address race and ethnicity will be increasingly important. Here, we show that one novel and salient characteristic of an institutional environment, that is, whether a school emphasizes the value of racial and ethnic diversity, predicts better cardiometabolic health among adolescents of color. Using a diverse sample of adolescents who attend more than 100 different schools in predominantly urban locations, we find that when schools emphasize the value of diversity (operationalized as mentioning diversity in their mission statements), students of color, but not white students, have lower values on a composite of five biomarkers of inflammation, have less insulin resistance and compensatory β-cell activity, and have fewer metabolic syndrome signs and score lower on a continuous metabolic syndrome composite. These results suggest that institutions that emphasize diversity may play an unacknowledged role in protecting the health of people of color and, thus, may be a site for future interventions to reduce health disparities.
Article
This meta-analytic study systematically investigates the relations between perceived racial/ethnic discrimination and socioemotional distress, academics, and risky health behaviors during adolescence, and potential variation in these relations. The study included 214 peer-reviewed articles, theses, and dissertations, with 489 unique effect sizes on 91,338 unique adolescents. Random-effects meta-analyses across 11 separate indicators of well-being identified significant detrimental effects. Greater perceptions of racial/ethnic discrimination were linked to more depressive and internalizing symptoms; greater psychological distress; poorer self-esteem; lower academic achievement and engagement; less academic motivation; greater engagement in externalizing behaviors, risky sexual behaviors, and substance use; and more associations with deviant peers. Metaregression and subgroup analyses indicated differences by race/ethnicity, Gender × Race/Ethnicity interactions, developmental stage, timing of retrospective measurement of discrimination, and country. Overall, this study highlights the pernicious effects of racial/ethnic discrimination for adolescents across developmental domains and suggests who is potentially at greater risk.
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This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Explaining Positive Adaptation of Immigrant Youth across Cultures. This study tested a mediation model of ethnic socialization (i.e., parental practices that promote children's knowledge about their history, heritage culture, cultural authenticity, and ethnic bias management) in Roma youth. Roma are the largest ethnic minority group in Europe subjected to severe discrimination, both currently and historically. Participants were 202 Roma youth aged 14 to 19 years old (M = 16.25, 53% females), who provided self-reports on their experience of ethnic socialization, ethnic identity, school achievement, and life satisfaction. Cultural pride reinforcement was related to better school achievement, whereas cultural coping with antagonism was positively related to life satisfaction. The study confirmed the model in that ethnic socialization was positively related to life satisfaction through effects on ethnic identity but negatively associated with school achievement. Findings have implications for adaptive cultural mechanisms promoting positive developmental outcomes among historically disadvantaged groups including those intersecting immigrant and multigenerational ethnic minority group categories.
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In the midst of discussions about improving education, teacher education, equity, and diversity, little has been done to make pedagogy a central area of investigation. This article attempts to challenge notions about the intersection of culture and teaching that rely solely on microanalytic or macroanalytic perspectives. Rather, the article attempts to build on the work done in both of these areas and proposes a culturally relevant theory of education. By raising questions about the location of the researcher in pedagogical research, the article attempts to explicate the theoretical framework of the author in the nexus of collaborative and reflexive research. The pedagogical practices of eight exemplary teachers of African-American students serve as the investigative "site." Their practices and reflections on those practices provide a way to define and recognize culturally relevant pedagogy.
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The present study examined the associations between parental involvement and college enrollment using a national sample of 3116 U.S. youth (52% male, 70% White). Four dimensions of parental involvement (academic values, behaviors promoting future academic success, home structure, and school involvement) were examined from 7th–12th grade. Higher initial levels of all four parenting dimensions in junior high school were associated with a greater likelihood of college enrollment. Less steep declines in academic values and behaviors promoting future academic success, and increases in school involvement were also associated with an increased likelihood of college enrollment. Math achievement trajectories from 8th through 12th grade were examined as mediators of these associations. Math achievement intercepts mediated the association between the parental involvement intercepts (academic values, behaviors promoting future academic success, home structure, and school involvement) and college enrollment. No mediation was detected among math achievement linear slopes. Practical implications are discussed.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on two important mechanisms through which racial learning occurs: children's experiences of discrimination across multiple settings and messages that children receive from parents, termed racial socialization. Notably, these two mechanisms are dynamically interdependent and deeply intertwined. Youth's discrimination experiences reflect both objective and potentially verifiable racial dynamics as well as their pre-existing expectations about, or predispositions toward, intergroup relations, the latter being partly shaped by parents' racial socialization. Parents’ racial socialization likewise emanates from, and is embedded in, systems of racial stratification and as well as in their anticipation of, or reaction to, youth's experience with these systems, including their own children's experiences of discrimination. Discrimination disrupts the process of achieving positive, respectful, and caring relationships with others. Thus, it has been associated empirically with a range of social adjustment indicators, including the quality of relationships with peers, adults, and the school community.
Article
Previous research has established that family ethnic socialization messages promote ethnic–racial identity (ERI) development, yet it is unknown whether these effects remain constant throughout adolescence. The current study examined the time-varying effects of family ethnic socialization on ERI exploration and resolution among Latino adolescents (n = 323, Mage at T1 = 15.31, SDage = .76; 49.5% female). As adolescents progressed from middle to late adolescence, the relation between family ethnic socialization and exploration became stronger, while the relation between family ethnic socialization and resolution became weaker, with a significant difference between the magnitude of these associations emerging in late adolescence. The findings underscore the differential impact that family ethnic socialization messages can have on ERI developmental processes at different points in adolescence. In addition, the current study provides a useful illustration of how time-varying effects modeling can be used to examine how familial influences on youth development can change across developmental periods.
Article
Over the last 20 years, ethnic/racial identity (ERI) has been regarded as a component central to identity for minority students, and often proposed to be positively associated with academic achievement. However, the findings of individual studies scattered across the literature suggest that the size and direction of the correlation is somewhat inconsistent, prompting the meta-analysis of 47 studies reported herein. The authors gave particular attention to specific moderator variables that might explain differences across these studies. Results demonstrated that the overall effect size for ERI and academic achievement was small but significant in the positive direction. Effect sizes varied according to participant race and the dimension of ERI used in the analysis. Theoretical and future research implications are discussed.
Article
This article proposes a further conceptualization of ethnic and racial identity (ERI) as a fundamental topic in developmental research. Adding to important recent efforts to conceptually integrate and synthesize this field, it is argued that ERI research will be enhanced by more fully considering the implications of the social identity approach. These implications include (a) the conceptualization of social identity, (b) the importance of identity motives, (c) systematic ways for theorizing and examining the critical role of situational and societal contexts, and (d) a dynamic model of the relation between ERI and context. These implications have not been fully considered in the developmental literature but offer important possibilities for moving the field forward in new directions.
Book
Filling a critical void in the literature, Race, Racism, and the Developing Child provides an important source of information for researchers, psychologists, and students on the recent advances in the unique developmental and social features of race and racism in children's lives. Thorough and accessible, this timely reference draws on an international collection of experts and scholars representing the breadth of perspectives, theoretical traditions, and empirical approaches in this field.
Chapter
IntroductionWhat We Know About Ethnic SocializationOverview of the StudyThe Salience of Ethnic-Racial Socialization to ParentsRetention of Cultural ValuesResistance Against DiscriminationPreparation for Bias:EgalitarianismPromotion of MistrustSummary and Conclusion
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This article describes the development and initial validation of a measure of middle school students’ perspectives of culturally responsive teaching practices. The Student Measure of Culturally Responsive Teaching (SMCRT) was developed by modifying items on the Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy (CRTSE), which measures teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding their culturally responsive teaching practices. Data obtained from a sample of 748 seventh-grade students (63.9% Latino/as) were used to conduct exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses that yielded three factors: Diverse Teaching Practice, Cultural Engagement, and Diverse Language Affirmation. The three-factor model was compared with two competing models, yielding a second-order factor model as the final model. Initial validity of the SMCRT was demonstrated through tests of measurement invariance across subgroups of gender, immigrants, and Latino/as versus non-Latino/as and correlational analyses with SMCRT, teacher support, and school belonging. Internal consistency was also tested using Cronbach’s alpha. Results of the data analyses suggest that SMCRT is a psychometrically sound measure of seventh-grade students’ perceptions of their teachers’ culturally responsive teaching practices.
Article
To clarify the conceptual underpinnings of Tinto's theoretical model of students' departure, the study presented here tested a conceptual model of the antecedents of sense of belonging to examine the extent to which Latino students' background characteristics and college experiences in the first and second years contribute to their sense of belonging in the third year. The study found that discussions of course content with other students outside class and membership in religious and social-community organizations are strongly associated with students' sense of belonging. First-year experiences have positive effects, while perceptions of a hostile racial climate have direct negative effects on students' sense of belonging in the third year. The results suggest that greater attention needs to be paid to minority students' subjective sense of integration in campus life, temporal sequencing of college experiences, and new avenues for understanding students' adjustment to college.
Article
Based on a longitudinal sample of 1,452 African American and European American adolescents and their parents, parenting practices (i.e., monitoring, warmth, and autonomy support) at 7th grade had significant indirect effects on college enrollment 3 years post high school, through their effects on aspirations, school engagement, and grade point average (GPA). All 3 parenting practices were related to aspirations and behavioral engagement at 8th grade, with 2 of the 3 parenting practices related to the emotional (monitoring and warmth) and cognitive (autonomy support and warmth) engagement. The reciprocal relations between aspirations and engagement/GPA were significant, although the effects from 8th aspirations to 11th engagement were stronger than the reverse path. Ethnic differences were found only for parenting practices: monitoring had stronger associations with GPA and behavioral engagement for African Americans, whereas autonomy support had stronger associations with GPA for European Americans. For African American parents, a delicate balance is needed to capture the benefits of higher levels of monitoring for promoting GPA and behavioral engagement and the benefits of autonomy support for developing aspirations and cognitive engagement. Parental warmth was equally beneficial for supporting aspirations, engagement, and achievement across ethnicity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
In this article, we review knowledge about student engagement and look ahead to the future of study in this area. We begin by describing how researchers in the field define and study student engagement. In particular, we describe the levels, contexts, and dimensions that constitute the measurement of engagement, summarize the contexts that shape engagement and the outcomes that result from it, and articulate person-centered approaches for analyzing engagement. We conclude by addressing limitations to the research and providing recommendations for study. Specifically, we point to the importance of incorporating more work on how learning-related emotions, personality characteristics, prior learning experiences, shared values across contexts, and engagement in nonacademic activities influence individual differences in student engagement. We also stress the need to improve our understanding of the nuances involved in developing engagement over time by incorporating more extensive longitudinal analyses, intervention trials, research on affective neuroscience, and interactions among levels and dimensions of engagement.
Article
In this article we discuss how social or group identities affect achievement. We also present a model of identity engagement that describes how a salient social identity can trigger psychological threat and belonging concerns and how these can produce persistent performance decrements, which through feedback loops can increase over time. The character of such processes may be revealed only over time because they are recursive in nature and interact with other factors in chronically evaluative social environments. Finally, we address how this model helped in the development of successful interventions.
Article
This short-term longitudinal research examined the relationships among middle school students’ perceptions of school environment, school engagement, and academic achievement. Participants were from a representative, ethnically diverse, urban sample of 1,046 students. The findings supported the theoretical conceptualization of three different, but related, dimensions of school engagement: school participation, sense of identification with school, and use of self-regulation strategies. The results also indicated that students’ perceptions of the distinct dimensions of school environment in seventh grade contribute differentially to the three types of school engagement in eighth grade. Finally, the authors found that students’ perceptions of school environment influenced their academic achievement directly and indirectly through the three types of school engagement. Specifically, students’ perceptions of school characteristics in seventh grade influenced their school participation, identification with school, and use of self-regulation strategies in eighth grade that occur therein and, in turn, influenced students’ academic achievement in eighth grade.
Article
Intergroup contact and friendship are keystones to the reduction of prejudice, yet most available data on this topic are based on indices that do not actually reflect contact or relationships. This study examined various indices of peer relations (viz., interactive companions, mutual friendships, and the stability and perceived qualities of mutual friends) for elementary school students who differed in grade, gender, and racial background; and it explored whether racial attitudes were associated with befriending or avoiding classmates. Cross-race mutual friendships declined with grade, and among fifth-graders were less likely to show 6-month stability than same-race friendships. Despite overall same-race selectivity, mutual cross-race friends, once selected, did not differ significantly from same-race ones in friendship functions such as loyalty and emotional security; only with respect to intimacy were they rated lower. Finally, racial prejudice was most strongly related to the number of excluded classmates, while children with less biased attitudes had more cross-race interactive companions and more positive perceptions of their friends.
Article
In this article, we report on an investigation of a recently proposed construct of ethnic perspective-taking ability (EPTA). It was hypothesized that: (a) EPTA would be related to ethnic identity, social perspective-taking ability (SPTA), and ethnic socialization; and (b) there would be distinctiveness in EPTA relative to SPTA. Mexican American high school students (N=43) were administered in-depth EPTA and SPTA interviews and questionnaire measures of ethnic identity. Parents of the adolescents were administered an ethnic socialization questionnaire. Results provided support for the potential usefulness of EPTA because it was significantly associated with SPTA, even after variance associated with developmental level was controlled, and there was variance in ethnic identity predicted by EPTA that was not also predicted by either SPTA or the ethnic socialization variable. Contrary to expectation, EPTA was not significantly associated with ethnic socialization. However, parental ethnic socialization was significantly predictive of ethnic identity development. The results support a model of ethnic identity development during adolescence integrated across socialization and cognitive-developmental factors.
Article
Stages of ethnic identity development were assessed through in-depth interviews with 91 Asian-American, Black, Hispanic, and White tenth-grade students, all American born, from integrated urban high schools. Subjects were also given questionnaire measures of ego identity and psychological adjustment. On the basis of the interviews, minority subjects were coded as being in one of three identity stages; White subjects could not be reliably coded. Among the minorities, about one-half of the subjects had not explored their ethnicity (diffusion/foreclosure); about one-quarter were involved in exploration (moratorium); and about one-quarter had explored and were committed to an ethnic identity (ethnic identity achieved). Ethnic-identity-achieved subjects had the highest scores on an independent measure of ego identity and on psychological adjustment. The process of identity development was similar across the three minority groups, but the particular issues faced by each group were different.
Article
The combination of Afrocentric students in Eurocentric schools results in a conflict of cultures that places black students at risk. Although schools endorse societal beliefs concerning equal treatment and equality of educational opportunities, certain practices such as the hidden curriculum, tracking, and discriminatory discipline practices are in direct conflict with those beliefs. The conflict between a school's beliefs and its practices is characterized on the classroom level by a lack of understanding of black student cultural values, norms, styles, and language. This teacher-student conflict appears to be related to the declining number of black and minority group teachers. Lack of cultural synchronization because of misunderstanding, missed communications, and low or no teacher interaction results in negative teacher expectations. White teachers communicate differentially with their students, using different communication patterns and expectations for black female and black male students. The following interventions could prove successful with black at-risk students: (1) Afrocentric independent schools; (2) effective teaching; (3) effective schools; and (4) parent education. Generic competencies that can serve as guidelines for in-service staff development programs and preservice teacher education programs are suggested. Statistical data are included on seven tables and five graphs. A list of 327 references and an index are appended. (FMW)
Article
This study investigated ethnic socialization by parents of minority group adolescents, the adolescents' ethnic identity and strategies for coping with stereotypes and discrimination, and the interrelationships among these and demographic variables. In-depth interviews were carried out with 60 American-born Japanese-American, African-American, and Mexican-American high-school students, aged 16 to 18 years, and one parent of each adolescent. There were significant ethnic group differences in parental ethnic socialization, with African-American parents more frequently reporting discussing prejudice with their child and Japanese-American and African-American parents emphasizing adaptation to society more than Mexican-American parents. Adolescent use of a proactive style of coping with stereotypes and discrimination was associated with higher self-esteem, and use of verbal retorts was related to lower self-esteem. Parental socialization did not have a strong relationship to adolescent outcomes.
Article
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Although school climate has been thought to be especially important for racial minority and poor students (Booker, 20067. Booker , K. C. 2006 . School belonging and the African American adolescent: What do we know and where should we go? . The High School Journal , 89 ( 4 ) : 1 – 7 . [CrossRef]View all references; Haynes, Emmons, & Ben-Avie, 199726. Haynes , N. M. , Emmons , C. and Ben-Avie , M. 1997 . School climate as a factor in student adjustment and achievement . Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation , 8 ( 3 ) : 321 – 329 . [Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®]View all references), little research has explored the significance of racial climate for these students. Furthermore, research in the area has tended to treat race, socioeconomic class, and gender separately, ignoring the ways in which they interact. Using quantitative survey data from 842 African American and white middle school students, this study examined the associations of race, class, and gender with school racial climate perceptions. Results indicated students’ perceptions of racial climate differed by race, class, and gender. African American, poor, and female students perceived the racial climate in more negative terms than their white, non-poor, and male counterparts, respectively. Results also indicated joint associations between race and class and climate perceptions. Non-poor, African American students perceived a more negative racial climate than did non-poor Whites. There was limited support for a race and gender interaction. African American females tended to perceive less racial fairness in school than African American males. We discuss the conceptual and methodological tradeoffs of examining students’ school racial climate perceptions from a perspective that considers race, class, and gender jointly.