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2008 Southern Sociological Society Meeting "Race Differences in Girl Violence: The Importance of School Success"
 

2008 Southern Sociological Society Meeting "Race Differences in Girl Violence: The Importance of School Success"

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    2008 Southern Sociological Society Meeting "Race Differences in Girl Violence: The Importance of School Success" 2008 Southern Sociological Society Meeting "Race Differences in Girl Violence: The Importance of School Success" Presentation Transcript

    • Race Differences in Girl Violence: The Importance of School Success Maxine S. Thompson, R.V. Thivierge-Rikard, Ph.D. M.A.S.S. Maxinet@sasw.ncsu.edu rvrikard@ncsu.edu Presentation at the 2008 Southern Sociological Society Meeting Richmond, VA April 10th, 2008
    • Issues in Girl’s Violence • Increase in adolescent girls’ level of violence in school environments • African American students have a higher rate of violence compared to Hispanic and white students. • Little or no research on the role of self identity as a predictor of violence among adolescent Black females
    • Social Identities • Being a good student and “fitting in” the school culture. • Oppositional culture promotes the preference of peer culture and rejects academics. • Dissonance between salient identities creates stress.
    • Research Question • Is the level of school violence for Black adolescent females higher than that of white adolescent females? • Does a normative student identity versus a marginalized role identity explain student violence • Do salient identities explain race differences in girl violence? • Do salient identities moderate the race differences in girl violence?
    • Girl Violence • Girls do indirect violence which is mostly teasing and ridiculing others. • Girls bully others for being unattractive, not dressing stylishly, being physically well developed or not “fitting in”. • Girls are targets of sexual jokes, gestures or looks.
    • Girls Identity Claims and Violence • Salient identities provide consistent styles of behaving and a basis for choosing which situations to enter and which to avoid. • Stress comes when identity claims are threaten or challenged. • Reactions are anger and/or developing a “personal” that nullifies the dissonance
    • Other Considerations: • Family Context - affective dimensions of family appear to be critical for adolescent females than their male counterparts • Interpersonal Stress - • Anger – as an emotional response to stress. • Peer Groups - peer social networks serve to perpetuate or extinguish an individual’s particular social identity
    • Hypotheses H1. The level of violence will be higher for black middle school females than for white females, H2. The level of violence will be lower among girls for whom the student role is important, H3. Stress, anger and peer influence will mediate the relationship between race and violence, and H4. Race will condition the relationship between identity as student and violence.
    • Data and Analyses • Data for this research come from the Gender and Middle School: Adolescent Gender Identity and Well-Being 2003 survey. • A total of 385 students (205 males and 180 females) were surveyed from a racially heterogeneous urban middle school. • The present research only examines the incidence of violence committed by Black, white, and “other” racial/ethnic female students (n=155).
    • Measures • Dependent Variable – Violence – “How often have you…” 1. “I enjoy upsetting wimps”: “Never,” “Rarely,” o “Sometimes,” and “Often.” 2. “Carried a hidden weapon in the last year,” o 3) “Hit (or threatened to hit) a teacher or other adult at o school,” 4) “Hit (or threatened to hit) one of your parents,” and o 5) “Hit (or threatened to hit) other student(s).” o “Never,” “Once or Twice,” “Once every 2 months,” “Once a Month,” “Once o every 2-3 Weeks,” “Once a Week,” “2-3 Times a Week,” and “At Least Once a Day.”
    • Measures • Independent Variable – Independent Variables – Race/ethnicity o Age o Good Student Identity – “How important is it…” o 1) to have other students to think I am a good student,  2) to be a good student,  3) for teachers to think I am a good student.  “Not Important at All,” “Somewhat Important,” and “Very  Important”
    • Measures • Control Variables – Highest education level of one parent - girls’ home o environment o Stress  Teacher - “I didn’t get along with one of my teachers in the past year” and “My teacher yelled at me in front of the class in the past year.”  Parent - “My parents argue at home” and “I argue with my parents.”  Friends - “Friends were mean to me in the past year” and “My friends ignored me in the past year.” “Yes” or “No” if the incident had occurred in the past o year.
    • Results • See Table 3: Black girls, compared to whites, are two times o more likely to commit a violent act (Model 1). o The importance of other student’s perceptions and self perception of being a good student has a significant negative (counterbalancing) effect on violence (Model 2). o Having friends who hit other and tease others has a significant positive effect on girls’ violence (Model 5).
    • Results (cont.) Interaction of the importance of other students o perception of a Black girl as a good student has a significant and fivefold negative effect on violence (Model 6). o Black girls who perceive the importance of being a good students were nearly three times less likely to commit a violent act than whites (Model 7). o However, the importance of teacher’s perceptions was not mediated by race/ethnicity (Model 8).
    • Discussion • Summing up… • The oppositional culture literature has neglected the importance of education for Blacks. Education is a vehicle for success. • Lack of research on how students balance the dissonance between peer identity/ pressure and commitment to one’s education.
    • Discussion (cont.) – Academic identity is important for all girls (self and peer perceptions) - However, teachers’ perception of an academic identity is not important. – We speculate that both self perception of an academic identity and marginalized/deviant groups influence a girl’s level of violence. – Anger did not explain violence.
    • Discussion (cont.) 4. Although Black girls do commit more violent acts than whites; the levels of violence are explained by the influence of marginalized group identity. 5. The academic or student identity buffers the impact of race; that is, Black girls with a strong commitment to the student role are less likely to be violent than white girls. Implication: Two groups, “marginalized” (i.e., “bully”) and “academically committed,” in the school environment
    • Race Differences in Girl Violence: The Importance of School Success Maxine S. Thompson, R.V. Thivierge-Rikard, Ph.D. M.A.S.S. Maxinet@sasw.ncsu.edu rvrikard@ncsu.edu Presentation at the 2008 Southern Sociological Society Meeting Richmond, VA April 10th, 2008