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The Effect of Stereotype Threat Upon African American Students


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Senior Project Research Paper

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The Effect of Stereotype Threat Upon African American Students

  1. 1. The Effects of Stereotype Threat upon Academic Performance among African American Students<br />By <br />Andre Smith<br />
  2. 2. What is Stereotype Threat, Social Identity Theory?<br />Stereotype Threat<br /><ul><li>The social-psychological threat that arises when one is in a situation or doing something for which a negative stereotype about one’s group applies.</li></ul>- Has been primarily studied in the context of Academic settings. (Steele,1997)<br />Social Identity Theory<br /> - Proposes that the more strongly individuals identify with their group, the less favorable attitudes they hold towards dissimilar groups. <br />
  3. 3. Self Esteem In African American Students<br />The extent to which African American students view race as a central aspect of their self-concept is irrelevant to their level of personal self esteem. (Rowley et. al, 1998)<br />Awareness of racism positively correlated with self esteem. (Van Laar, 2000)<br />
  4. 4. Racial Idenity<br />Daphna Oyserman- Racial Ethnic Identity scale<br />REI predicts perceived racism, embedded achievement, and connectedness. (Altschul,Oyserman, Bybee, 2006)<br /><ul><li>High REI is thought to be a predictor of better academic success.</li></ul>African Americans tend to have developed deeper ethnic identity than European Americans. <br />- Unlike other racial groups Ethnic Identity and self esteem do not directly correlate. However in some situations, a stronger group identity is thought to protect self esteem, as in the face of discrimination. (Pellebon, 2000)<br />
  5. 5. Methods<br />62 African American university students participated in a survey which was given to the majority of them online. (Due to nature of location)<br />Stereotype manipulation was provided on half of all surveys. Survey informed participants of the breach in academic achievement between White and Black students. Surveys concluded reading, writing and math abilities of average black students compared to white students.<br />Surveys included eight math questions from the NAEP, Oyserman’s Racial Identity scale, and Rosenberg’s Self Esteem scale.<br />
  6. 6. Research Questions<br />How does stereotype manipulation effect the self esteem?<br />How does stereotype manipulation effect racial identification?<br />How does stereotype manipulation effect academic performance?<br />
  7. 7. Results<br /><ul><li>RQ1 – There was no significant relationship between self esteem and stereotype manipulation. r = -1.151
  8. 8. RQ2 – There is a significant negative relationship between racial identity and stereotype manipulation. r = -3.554
  9. 9. RQ3- There is a significant negative relationship between stereotype manipulation and academic performance. r = -2.305</li></li></ul><li>Discussion<br /><ul><li>Racial Identity scores were lower under stereotype manipulation.
  10. 10. Inconsistent with SID.
  11. 11. When and individual’s group faces discrimination or rejection a common strategy is to strengthen group identity to protect self esteem. (Phinney, 1992)
  12. 12. Inconsistent with past studies who say RID remains unchanged under ST.
  13. 13. Positive RID is positively correlated with school engagement and academic achievement. (Bennet, 2006)
  14. 14. Implications
  15. 15. Making race salient may hinder school engagement and academic achievement in African American students.
  16. 16. Past studies indicate the possibility of devaluing domains because of ethnic injustices, however there are not many studies that indicate the devaluing of one’s race due to ethnic injustices. (Schmader, Major, Gramzow, 2001) </li></li></ul><li>Discussion<br />Self Esteem was virtually unchanged under stereotype threat. <br />Despite low racial identity scores, self esteem was not significantly different under ST.<br />Self Esteem did not correlate with academic performance or Racial Identity under no threat.<br />Consistent with past studies. However SIT would say esteem would correlate with racial identity since it is the identity that is highlighted in the attempt to manipulate surveys.<br /> Implications <br />Multicultural programs instituted for minority populations should not concentrate on building self esteem. <br />
  17. 17. Discussion<br /><ul><li>Under stereotype threat, academic performance scores were significantly lower.
  18. 18. ST in this case attacks the racial identity of the individual
  19. 19. African American students have learned to detach their self esteem separate from their racial identity, and separate from their academic performances.
  20. 20. Stereotype manipulation is the only variable that changes the pattern of racial identity and academic performance.
  21. 21. Under the lens of SIT this may be explained by students willing to conform to race association, and devalue the domain(math questions). However, this cannot be explained because students under ST did not score higher on racial identity.
  22. 22. Implications
  23. 23. Future research should try to examine what aside from self esteem and racial identity contributes to the vulnerability to stereotype threat of these students. </li></li></ul><li>Limitations<br /><ul><li>Surveys were given online.
  24. 24. Possibility of better academic performance evaluation.
  25. 25. Possibility of different stereotype manipulation given on surveys.
  26. 26. Time period in which I had to work.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion<br /><ul><li>In all results did not support SIT for students did not conform to a stronger group identity under ST.
  27. 27. Self Esteem did not correlate with racial identity.
  28. 28. However students may have devalued the academic domain due to the value that is placed on academics by their Caucasian counterparts.</li>