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ERIC Number: EJ976258
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1381-2890
The Impacts of Friendship Groups' Racial Composition When Perceptions of Prejudice Threaten Students' Academic Self-Concept
Lehman, Brett
Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal, v15 n3 p411-425 Sep 2012
Literature on racially prejudiced stereotypes suggests that students' academic self-concepts (ASC) can be damaged when a stereotype demeans the intelligence of their racial or ethnic group. There is little research on how students overcome this burden, but there is some evidence that the racial composition of friendship groups play a role. One argument suggests having racially diverse friends could help students see the inaccuracy of stereotypes and another points out that racially homogenous friends could collectively resist the stereotypes as a support group. In this study I analyze a nationally representative and racially diverse sample of United States adolescents to examine these hypotheses. After estimating multivariate regression models for four separate racial/ethnic groups (Asian, African-American, Hispanic, white), results show that although perceptions of prejudice do predict decreases in ASC for African-American students, racially homogenous friendship groups have the opposite effect which lends credibility to the support group hypothesis. In addition, racial diversity of friendship groups predicts decreased ASC for African-American students, suggesting diverse groups could make prejudice more salient. The implications for these findings include the reminder that prejudice is still a valid concern in American schools and that peers can be a significant source of racial tension and/or support. In terms of students' ASC, it is important for educators to be aware of these social conditions and to continue to seek a better understanding of race relations in schools so that more students are not psychologically burdened by racial tension.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States