, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 437-445

The Development of Stereotypes About the Rich and Poor: Age, Race, and Family Income Differences in Beliefs

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African American and European American 4th, 6th, and 8th graders rated the competence of rich and poor children in academics (i.e., math, science, reading, writing, school grades, smartness), sports, and music. In contrast to middle school students, 4th graders favored the rich in all 3 domains. Youth of both races reported that the rich were more competent in academics than the poor; these beliefs were especially pronounced among Black youth. White, older, and more affluent students favored the poor in sports, whereas their counterparts either favored the rich or were egalitarian. No interactions were found between grade and race or grade and family income. The implications of these beliefs for policy and identity development theory are discussed.

Doctoral student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Research interests include the influence of race identity, race socialization, and stereotypes on the academic achievement of African American youth.
Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Received Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. Her research specialty is the development of children's achievement-related beliefs.
Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan. Received Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Research interests include predictors of academic self-views in children and adolescents.