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Associations of School Diversity with Students’ Race-based Victimization and School Connectedness: A Combined Influence of Student and Teacher Racial/Ethnic Diversity and Socioeconomic Diversity


School diversity has been shown to be associated with students’ school experiences. However, most studies have focused solely on student racial/ethnic diversity, in spite of the multifaceted nature of diversity. This study assessed how the combined influence of student and teacher racial/ethnic diversity and socioeconomic diversity were related to race-based victimization, school connectedness, and racial/ethnic disparities of these outcomes. The participants were Asian, Black, Latinx, and White students (n = 100,408; 46.2–53.5% female) in Grade 7 to Grade 12 attending 278 public schools in California. The participating schools’ diversity contexts were categorized into four latent profiles differentiated by varying levels of student and teacher racial/ethnic diversity and socioeconomic diversity. Race-based victimization was the least prevalent in schools with low student racial/ethnic diversity, low socioeconomic diversity, and moderate teacher racial/ethnic diversity. The magnitude of racial/ethnic disparities in race-based victimization differed across the four latent profiles; racial/ethnic disparities were minimal when there were similar numbers of students in each racial/ethnic group. School diversity’s relation with school connectedness was minimal. White students perceived higher school connectedness than other racial/ethnic groups across profiles, but the White-Latinx gap was smaller in profiles with schools having a homogeneous Latinx student population. The findings underline the importance of understanding school diversity’s interaction with students’ characteristics, particularly racial/ethnic identity, on students’ school experiences.

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  1. The percentages of race-based victimization at the school-level of each profile were calculated using the equation, 1/ (1+exp (threshold value)). Threshold values of school-level race-based victimization were listed in Table 3.


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The research reported here was supported in part by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant # R305A160157 to the University of California, Santa Barbara. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute of Education Sciences or the U.S. Department of Education.

Data Sharing Declaration

The student-level and school-level datasets analyzed during the current study are available in the CalSCHLS repository upon request,, and California Department of Education’s DataQuest reporting system,, respectively.

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M.C. developed the initial research questions, designed the data analysis plan, conducted the analysis, and drafted the manuscript; J.S. refined the research questions and the data analysis plan, interpreted analyses, and revised the manuscript; K.N.-G. refined the data analysis plan, assisted with analysis, interpreted results, and revised the manuscript; E.D. interpreted the analyses and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mei-ki Chan.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

This study involved human participants and was conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board of University of California Santa Barbara.

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Passive consent was received from the parents of the participants and informed assent was obtained from all participants in the study.

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Chan, Mk., Sharkey, J.D., Nylund-Gibson, K. et al. Associations of School Diversity with Students’ Race-based Victimization and School Connectedness: A Combined Influence of Student and Teacher Racial/Ethnic Diversity and Socioeconomic Diversity. J Youth Adolescence 52, 44–60 (2023).

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  • Student racial/ethnic diversity
  • Socioeconomic diversity
  • Teacher racial/ethnic diversity
  • Race-based victimization
  • School connectedness