School Racial Climate and Academic Outcomes in African American Adolescents: The Protective Role of Peers


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Using a risk and resilience framework, the current investigation explored the relationship between school racial climate and academic outcomes among African American adolescents. Additionally, this study examined whether positive peer characteristics (e.g., peer support; peer academic values) were a protective factor for African American youth who reported perceiving a negative school racial climate. Participants were 126 middle school students (65% female), ranging in age from 11 to 15 years, who resided in the Midwestern region of the United States. Moderating relationships partially supported hypotheses. Findings revealed that peer values moderated the association between interracial interactions and African American adolescents’ academic values, as well as the relationship between fairness and racial equity and classroom effort. Results suggest that peer academic values may be an important contextual factor for understanding the association between school racial climate and academic outcomes. Implications of findings for prevention programming are discussed.

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