Sociocultural factors and school engagement among African American youth: The roles of racial discrimination, racial socialization, and ethnic identity

Aryn M. Dotterer, Susan M. McHale, Ann C. Crouter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the links between racial discrimination and school engagement and the roles of racial socialization and ethnic identity as protective factors in those linkages in a sample of 148, sixth through twelfth grade African American adolescents from working and middle-class two-parent families. In home interviews, youth described their ethnic identity, discrimination experiences at school, and school engagement (school bonding, school grades, school self-esteem), and parents rated their racial socialization practices. Analyses revealed that discrimination was negatively related to school self-esteem and school bonding. Racial socialization had additive effects on school self-esteem and school bonding, but did not moderate the discrimination-school engagement association. For boys, ethnic identity had additive effects on school bonding, but for girls, ethnic identity moderated the relation between discrimination and school bonding: when girls experienced more discrimination and had a lower ethnic identity, they reported lower school bonding. Discrimination, racial socialization, and ethnic identity were not related to school grades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Developmental Science
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 23 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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