School Context Protective Factors Against Peer Ethnic Discrimination Across the High School Years
- 897 Downloads
Ethnically diverse high school contexts present unique social opportunities for youth to form interethnic relationships, but they may also subject students to certain social challenges such as peer ethnic discrimination. With a sample of 1,072 high school students (55% girls; 54% Latino, 20% African American, 14% Asian, 12% White) attending 84 high schools, school context factors that protect students’ exposure to peer ethnic discrimination across the high school years were investigated with a three-level hierarchical linear model. Each spring for four consecutive years (grades 9–12), self-reported peer ethnic discrimination, interracial climate at school, and perceived school ethnic composition were assessed. At the school level, objective high school ethnic composition data were collected. Peer ethnic discrimination was found to decline slightly across the high school years. Above and beyond this decline, more positive perceptions of the school interracial climate and both objective and perceived numerical ethnic majority status predicted lower levels of peer ethnic discrimination. Taken together, the results highlight the significance of both objective (e.g., ethnic composition) and subjective (e.g., interracial climate) aspects of the school ethnic context to students’ high school social experiences.
KeywordsEthnic discrimination School context Adolescence Peers
- Bellmore, A., Nishina, A., & Graham, S. (2011). Peer popularity in the context of ethnicity. In A. H. N. Cillessen, D. Schwartz, & L. Mayeux (Eds.), Popularity in the peer system (pp. 193–215). New York, NY: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Benner, A.D., & Graham, S. (in press). Latino adolescents’ experiences of discrimination across the first two years of high school: Correlates and influences on educational outcomes. Child Development Google Scholar
- Brewer, C. A., & Suchan, T. A. (2001). Mapping Census 2000: The geography of U.S. diversity [Electronic version]. (U.S. Census Bureau, Census Special Reports, Series CENSR/01–1). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
- Brody, G., Chen, Y., Murray, V., Ge, X., Simons, R., Gibbons, F., et al. (2006). Perceived discrimination and the adjustment of African American youths: A Five-Year longitudinal analysis with contextual moderation effects. Child Development, 77, 1170–1189. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00927.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brown, B. (2004). Adolescents’ relationships with peers. Handbook of adolescent psychology (2nd ed., pp. 363–394). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Chavous, T. M., Rivas-Drake, D., Smalls, C., Griffin, T., & Cogburn, C. (2008). Gender matters, too: The influences of school racial discrimination and racial identity on academic engagement outcomes among African American adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 44, 637–654.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hallinan, M. T. (1982). Classroom racial composition and children’s friendships. Social Forces, 61, 56–72.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2007). Mplus user’s guide (5th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Perreira, K., Fuligni, A., & Potochnick, S. (2010). Fitting in: The roles of social acceptance and discrimination in shaping the academic motivations of Latino youth in the U.S. Southeast. Journal of Social Issues, 66, 131–153. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2009.01637.x.
- Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Raudenbush, S. W., Bryk, A. S., & Congdon, R. (2000). HLM for Windows. Version 6. Lincolnwood, IL: Scientific Software International, Inc.Google Scholar
- Rivas-Drake, D., Hughes, D., & Way, N. (2009). A preliminary analysis of associations among ethnic racial socialization, ethnic discrimination, and ethnic identity among urban sixth graders. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 19, 558–584. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2009.00607.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar