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Ethnicity as a social context for the development of African-American adolescents

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Eccles, Jacquelynne S., Carol A. Wong, and Stephen C. Peck. 2006. "Ethnicity as a social context for the development of African-American adolescents." Journal of School Psychology, 44(5): 407-426.

Does anticipated future racial discrimination undermine African-American adolescents' academic motivation and performance? Do face-to-face experiences with racial discrimination at school undermine African-American adolescents' academic functioning? Does African-American ethnic identity buffer these relations? This paper addresses these questions using two waves of data from a longitudinal study of an economically diverse sample of African-American adolescents living near Washington D.C. The data were collected at the beginning of the 7th grade and after the completion of the 8th grade. As expected, the experiences of day-to-day racial discrimination at school from one's teachers and peers predicted declines in grades, academic ability self-concepts, and academic task values. A strong, positive connection to one's ethnic group (our measure of ethnic identity) reduced the magnitude of the association of racial discrimination experiences with declines in both academic self-concepts and school achievement. Most youth responded to anticipated future discrimination with increased academic motivation. (c) 2006 Society for the Study of School Psychology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1016/j.jsp.2006.04.001 (Full Text)

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