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Longitudinal inter-relations between school cultural socialization and school engagement: The mediating role of school climate

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Abstract

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.

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... Additionally, FLE was a significant mediator affecting the interplay between grit and L2 performance, and the classroom environment influenced the association among grit, FLE, and L2 performance. The extant literature verifies the notable contribution of pleasant learning contexts to enhancing student engagement (e.g., Klem and Connell, 2004;Gest et al., 2005;Gauley, 2017;Del Toro and Wang, 2021;Hiver et al., 2021). Ryan and Patrick (2001) also found that students' perception of their social classroom environment was correlated with their engagement and motivation. ...
... Ryan and Patrick (2001) also found that students' perception of their social classroom environment was correlated with their engagement and motivation. Using longitudinal design and collecting four waves of data, Del Toro and Wang (2021) found that cultural socialization within African American schools could substantially affect adolescents' school engagement with the mediation of school climate. Reviews of research clearly show that (a) past CSC studies have less focused on the subject of language and that (b) these studies have rarely, if at all, investigated this positive emotion as the antecedent of engagement, both of which are catered for in our study. ...
... The positive contribution of CSC to student engagement can be justified in light of the selfdetermination theory, which confirms that learners might have further scholastic achievements if their sense of belonging, independence, and competence are satisfied (Connell and Wellborn, 1991). In other words, when teachers provide students with friendly and supportive learning contexts, foster interactions, and respect learners' needs, learners are more likely to get engaged in their learning tasks (Gauley, 2017;Phung, 2017;Del Toro and Wang, 2021;Hiver et al., 2021). It seems logical that learners who have more friendly relationships with their teachers and peers are endowed with further affective and cognitive engagement in their learning process (Birch and Ladd, 1997;Hamre and Pianta, 2001). ...
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... 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. ...
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Chapter
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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.
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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.
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.
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The authors explored trajectories of perceived discrimination over a 6-year period (five assessments in 6th-11th grade) in relation to academic, behavioral, and psychological adjustment in 8th and 11th grades. They distinguished discrimination from adults versus peers in addition to overt versus covert discrimination from peers. The sample included 226 African American, White, Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Chinese adolescents (ages 11-12 at Time 1) recruited in sixth grade from six public schools in New York City. All forms of discrimination increased during middle school and decreased during high school. The frequency with which adolescents reported different sources and types of discrimination varied across ethnicity/race, but not gender. Initial levels and rates of change in discrimination predicted academic, behavioral, and psychological adjustment in 8th and 11th grades, albeit in complex ways.
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.
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The construct of school climate has received attention as a way to enhance student achievement and reduce problem behaviors. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the existing literature on school climate and to bring to light the strengths, weakness, and gaps in the ways researchers have approached the construct. The central information in this article is organized into five sections. In the first, we describe the theoretical frameworks to support the multidimensionality of school climate and how school climate impacts student outcomes. In the second, we provide a breakdown of the four domains that make up school climate, including academic, community, safety, and institutional environment. In the third, we examine research on the outcomes of school climate. In the fourth, we outline the measurement and analytic methods of the construct of school climate. Finally, we summarize the strengths and limitations of the current work on school climate and make suggestions for future research directions.
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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
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.
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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
Who am I? What am I about? What is my place in my social group? What is important to me? What do I value? What do I want to do with my life? These are all questions related to what psychologists call identity. Many theorists have argued that we are driven to answer these questions, particularly during adolescence. In this article, I summarize an expectancy value perspective on identity and identity formation. Within this framework, identity can be conceptualized in terms of two basic sets of self perceptions: (a) perceptions related to skills, characteristics, and competencies, and (b) perceptions related to personal values and goals. Together these two sets of self perceptions inform both individuals' expectations for success and the importance they attach to becoming involved in a wide range of tasks. Within this perspective, then, I focus on the role personal and collective identities can play on motivated action through their influence on expectations for success and subjective task values. I also discuss briefly how personality and collective identities develop over time.
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
The current study used a multidimensional approach to examine developmental trajectories of three dimension of school engagement (school participation, sense of school belonging, and self-regulated learning) from grades 7 to 11 and their relationships to changes in adolescents’ academic outcomes over time. The sample includes 1,148 African American and European American adolescents (52% females, 56% black, 34% white, and 10% others). As expected, the downward trajectories of change in school participation, sense of belonging to school, and self-regulated learning differed as did their predictive relationships with academic performance and educational aspiration, with school belonging declining most markedly, but being least predictive of changes in grade point average.
Article
This article discusses the development and validation of a measure of adolescent students' perceived belonging or psychological membership in the school environment. An initial set of items was administered to early adolescent students in one suburban middle school (N = 454) and two multi-ethnic urban junior high schools (N = 301). Items with low variability and items detracting from scale reliability were dropped, resulting in a final 18-item Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM) scale, which had good internal consistency reliability with both urban and suburban students and in both English and Spanish versions. Significant findings of several hypothesized subgroup differences in psychological school membership supported scale construct validity. The quality of psychological membership in school was found to be substantially correlated with self-reported school motivation, and to a lesser degree with grades and with teacher-rated effort in the cross-sectional scale development studies and in a subsequent longitudinal project. Implications for research and for educational practice, especially with at-risk students, are discussed.
Article
Maximum likelihood algorithms for use with missing data are becoming common-place in microcomputer packages. Specifically, 3 maximum likelihood algorithms are currently available in existing software packages: the multiple-group approach, full information maximum likelihood estimation, and the EM algorithm. Although they belong to the same family of estimator, confusion appears to exist over the differ-ences among the 3 algorithms. This article provides a comprehensive, nontechnical overview of the 3 maximum likelihood algorithms. Multiple imputation, which is fre-quently used in conjunction with the EM algorithm, is also discussed. Until recently, the analysis of data with missing observations has been dominated by listwise (LD) and pairwise (PD) deletion methods (Kim & Curry, 1977; Roth, 1994). However, alternative methods for treating missing data have become in-creasingly common in software packages, leaving applied researchers with a wide range of data analytic options. In particular, three maximum likelihood (ML) esti-mation algorithms for use with missing data are currently available: the multi-ple-group approach (Allison, 1987; Muthén, Kaplan, & Hollis, 1987) can be imple-mented using existing structural equation modeling (SEM) software; Amos (Arbuckle, 1995) and Mx (Neale, 1995) offer full information maximum likelihood STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELING, 8(1), 128–141 Copyright © 2001, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Article
Maxwell and Cole (2007)26. Maxwell , S. E. and Cole , D. A. 2007. Bias in cross-sectional analyses of longitudinal mediation. Psychological Methods, 12: 23–44. [CrossRef], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®]View all references showed that cross-sectional approaches to mediation typically generate substantially biased estimates of longitudinal parameters in the special case of complete mediation. However, their results did not apply to the more typical case of partial mediation. We extend their previous work by showing that substantial bias can also occur with partial mediation. In particular, cross-sectional analyses can imply the existence of a substantial indirect effect even when the true longitudinal indirect effect is zero. Thus, a variable that is found to be a strong mediator in a cross-sectional analysis may not be a mediator at all in a longitudinal analysis. In addition, we show that very different combinations of longitudinal parameter values can lead to essentially identical cross-sectional correlations, raising serious questions about the interpretability of cross-sectional mediation data. More generally, researchers are encouraged to consider a wide variety of possible mediation models beyond simple cross-sectional models, including but not restricted to autoregressive models of change.
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
An increasing amount of scholarship has documented the salience of culturally relevant teaching practices for ethnically and linguistically diverse students. However, research examining these students' perceptions and interpretations of these learning environments has been minimal at best. In this article, the author details the findings from a study that sought to assess African-American elementary students' interpretations of culturally relevant teachers within urban contexts. Student responses indicated that culturally relevant teaching strategies had a positive affect on student effort and engagement in class content and were consistent with the theoretical principles of culturally relevant pedagogy. The qualitative data revealed three key findings that students preferred in their learning environments (1) teachers who displayed caring bonds and attitudes toward them, (2) teachers who established community- and family-type classroom environments, and (3) teachers who made learning an entertaining and fun process.