Advertisement

School-Based Racial and Gender Discrimination among African American Adolescents: Exploring Gender Variation in Frequency and Implications for Adjustment

  • Courtney D. CogburnEmail author
  • Tabbye M. Chavous
  • Tiffany M. Griffin
Article

Abstract

The present study examined school-based racial and gender discrimination experiences among African American adolescents in Grade 8 (n = 204 girls; n = 209 boys). A primary goal was exploring gender variation in frequency of both types of discrimination and associations of discrimination with academic and psychological functioning among girls and boys. Girls and boys did not vary in reported racial discrimination frequency, but boys reported more gender discrimination experiences. Multiple regression analyses within gender groups indicated that among girls and boys, racial discrimination and gender discrimination predicted higher depressive symptoms and school importance and racial discrimination predicted self-esteem. Racial and gender discrimination were also negatively associated with grade point average among boys but were not significantly associated in girls’ analyses. Significant gender discrimination X racial discrimination interactions resulted in the girls’ models predicting psychological outcomes and in boys’ models predicting academic achievement. Taken together, findings suggest the importance of considering gender- and race-related experiences in understanding academic and psychological adjustment among African American adolescents.

Keywords

Race Gender Discrimination African American Adolescence 

References

  1. Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Beal, F. M. (1970). Doublejeopardy: TobeBlackandfemale. In T. Cade (Ed.), The Black woman: An anthology (pp. 90–100). New York: Signet.Google Scholar
  3. Beyer, S. (1999). Gender differences in the accuracy of grade expectancies and evaluations. Sex Roles, 41(3–4), 279–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brody, G. H., Chen, Y., Murry, V. M., Ge, X., Simons, R. L., Gibbons, F. X., 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.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, C., Bigler, R., & Chu, H. (2010). An experimental study of the correlates and consequences of perceiving oneself to be the target of gender discrimination. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 107, 100–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chavous, T., & Cogburn, C. D. (2007). The superinvisible woman: The study of Black women in education. Black Women, Gender & Families, 1(2), 24–51.Google Scholar
  7. Chavous, T., Rivas, D., Smalls, C., Griffin, T., & Cogburn, C. D. (2008). Gender matters, too: The influences of school racial discrimination and racial identity on academic engagement outcomes among African American adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 44(3), 637–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  9. Cunningham, M. (1999). African American adolescent males’ perceptions of their community resources and constraints: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Community Psychology, 27(5), 569–589.Google Scholar
  10. Cunningham, M., Swanson, D. P., Spencer, M. B., & Dupree, D. (2003). The association of physical maturation with family hassles in African American males. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 9, 274–276.Google Scholar
  11. Derogatis, L. R. (1982). Adolescent norms for the SCL-90R. Baltimore: Clinical Psychometric Research.Google Scholar
  12. Dubois, D., Burk-Braxton, C., Swenson, L., Tevendale, H., & Hardesty, J. (2002). Race and gender influences on adjustment in early adolescence: Investigation of an integrative model. Child Development, 73(5), 1573–1592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fisher, C. B., Wallace, S. A., & Fenton, R. E. (2000). Discrimination distress during adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 29(6), 679–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fordham, S. (1993). “Those Loud Black Girls”: (Black) women, silence and gender “Passing” in the academy. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 24I(1), 3–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Frazier-Kouassi, S. (2002). Race and gender at the crossroads: African American females in school. African American Research Perspectives, 8(1), 151–162.Google Scholar
  16. García Coll, C., Lamberty, G., Jenkins, R., McAdoo, H. P., Crnic, K., Wasik, B. H., et al. (1996). An integrative model for the study of developmental competencies in minority children. Child Development, 67, 1891–1914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Greene, M., Way, N., & Pahl, K. (2006). Trajectories of perceived adult and peer discrimination among Black, Latino, and Asian American adolescents: Patterns and psychological correlates. Developmental Psychology, 42(2), 218–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harter, S. (1985). Manual for the self-perception profile for children: Revision of the perceived competence scale for children. Denver, CO: University of Denver.Google Scholar
  19. Hinshaw, S. P., & Lee, S. S. (2003). Conduct and oppositional defiant disorders. In E. J. Mash & R. A. Barkley (Eds.), Child psychopathology (2nd ed., pp. 144–198). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  20. Hubbard, L. (2005). The role of gender in academic achievement. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 18(5), 605–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Joe, S., Joe, E., & Rowley, L. L. (2009). Consequence of physical health and mental illness risks for academic achievement in grades K-12. Review of Research in Education, 33, 283–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. King, K. (2003). Do you see what I see? Effects of group consciousness on African American women’s attributions to prejudice. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 27, 17–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Klonoff, E., & Landrine, H. (1995). The schedule of sexist events: A measure of lifetime and recent sexist discrimination in women’s lives. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 19, 439–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Klonoff, E., Landrine, H., & Campbell, R. (2000). Sexist discrimination may account for well-known gender differences in psychiatric symptoms. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 24(1), 93–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Leadbeater, B. J., & Way, N. (Eds.). (1996). Urban Girls: Resisting stereotypes, creating identities. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Levin, S., Sinclair, S., Veniegas, R., & Taylor, P. (2002). Perceived discrimination in the context of multiple social identities. Psychological Science, 13, 557–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McLoyd, V. C., & Steinberg, L. (Eds.). (1998). Studying minority adolescents: Conceptual, methodological, and theoretical issues. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  28. Meece, J. L., & Eccles, J. S. (1993). Introduction: Recent trends in research on gender and education. Educational Psychologist, 28(4), 313–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moradi, B., & Subich, L. (2003). A concomitant examination of the relations of perceived racist and the sexist events to psychological distress for African American women. Counseling Psychologist, 21, 451–469.Google Scholar
  30. Nam, C., & Powers, M. (1983). The socioeconomic approach to status measurement: With a GUIDE to occupational and socioeconomic status scores. Houston: Cap and Gown Press.Google Scholar
  31. Neal, L. V. I., McCray, A. D., Webb-Johnson, G., & Bridgest, S. T. (2003). The effects of African American movement styles on teachers’ perceptions and reaction. Journal of Special Education, 37(1), 49–57.Google Scholar
  32. Neblett, E., Philip, C., Cogburn, C., & Sellers, R. (2006). African American adolescents’ discrimination experiences and academic achievement: Racial socialization as a cultural compensatory and protective factor. Journal of Black psychology, 32(2), 199–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Noguera, P. A. (2003). The trouble with Black boys: The role and influence of environmental and cultural factors on the academic performance of African American males. Urban Education, 38(4), 431–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Girgus, J. S. (1994). The emergence of gender differences in depression during adolescence. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 424–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. O’Connor, C. (2002). Black women beating the odds from one generation to the next: How the changing dynamics of constraint and opportunity affect the process of educational resilience. American Eductional Research Journal, 39(4), 855–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Osborne, J. (1999). Unraveling underachievement among Afrian American boys from an identification with academics perspective. Journal of Negro Education, 68(4), 55–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Oyserman, D., & Harrison, K. (1998). Implications of cultural context: African American identity and possible selves. In J. Swim & C. Stanger (Eds.), Prejudice: The target’s perspective (pp. 281–300). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  38. Oyserman, D., Harrison, K., & Bybee, D. (2001). Can racial identity be promotive of academic efficacy? International Journal of Behavioral Development, 25(4), 379–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Reid, P., & Comas-Diaz, L. (1990). Gender and ethnicity: Perspectives on dual status. Sex Roles, 22(7/8), 397–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ro, A. E., & Choi, K.-H. (2009). Social status correlates of reporting gender discrimination and racial discrimination among racially diverse women. Women and Health, 49(1), 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Roderick, M. (2003). What’s happening to the boys? Early high school experiences and school outcomes among African American male adolescents in Chicago. Urban Education, 38(5), 538–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Romero, A. J., & Roberts, R. E. (1998). Perception of discrimination and ethnocultural variables in a diverse group of adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 21(6), 641–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sanders-Phillips, K. (2009). Racial discrimination: A continuum of violence exposure for children of color. Clinical Child and Family Psychological Review, 12, 174–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schmitt, M. T., Branscombe, N., Kobrynowicz, D., & Owen, S. (2007). Perceiving discrimination against one’s gender group has different implications for well-being in women and men. Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 28(2), 197–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sellers, R., & Shelton, N. (2003). The role of racial identity in perceived discrimination. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(5), 1079–1092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sellers, R. M., Linder, N. C., Martin, P. P., & Lewis, R. L. (2006). Racial identity matters: The relationship between racial discrimination and psychological functioning in African American adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 16(2), 187–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Settles, I., Pratt-Hyatt, J., & Buchanan, N. (2008). Through the lens of race: Black and white women’s perceptions of womanhood. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, 454–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sidanius, J., Pratto, F., van Laar, C., & Levin, S. (2004). Social Dominance Theory: Its Agenda and Method. Political Psychology, 25, 845–880.Google Scholar
  49. Sidanius, J., & Veniegas, R. (2000). Gender and race discrimination: The interactive nature of disadvantage. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination. The claremont symposium on applied social psychology (pp. 47–69). Mahway, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  50. Skiba, R. J., Michael, R. S., Nardo, A. C., & Peterson, R. L. (2002). The color of discipline: Sources of racial and gender disproportionately in school punishment. Urban Review, 34(4), 317–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Spencer, M. B. (1999). Social and cultural influences on school adjustment: The application of an identity-focused cultural ecological perspective. Educational Psychologist, 34(1), 43–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Spencer, M. B., Dupree, D., & Hartman, T. (1997). A phenomenological variant of ecological systems theory (PVEST): A self-organization perspective in context. Development & Psychopathology, 9(4), 817–833.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Steward, R. J., Jo, H. I., Murrary, D., Fitzgerald, W., Neil, D., Fear, F., et al. (1998). Psychological adjustment and coping styles of urban African American high school students. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 26, 70–82.Google Scholar
  54. Swanson, D. P., Cunningham, M., & Spencer, M. B. (2003). Black males’ structural conditions, achievement patterns, normative needs and “opportunities”. Urban Education, 38, 605–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Taylor, R. J., Chatters, L. M., Tucker, B., & Lewis, E. (1990). Developments in research on Black families: A decade review. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52(4), 993–1014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Thomas, D. E., & Stevenson, H. (2009). Gender risks and education: The particular classroom challenges for urban low-income African American boys. Review of Research in Education, 33, 160–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. US Department of Education. (1999). Projected student suspension rates values for the nation’s public schools by race/ethnicity: Elementary and secondary school civil rights compliance reports. Washington, DC: Office of Civil Rights.Google Scholar
  58. Wong, C. A., Eccles, J. S., & Sameroff, A. (2003). The influence of ethnic discrimination and ethnic identification on African American adolescents’ school and socioemotional adjustment. Journal of Personality, 7(6), 1197–1232.Google Scholar
  59. Woods-Giscombé, C. L. & Lobel, M. (2008). Race and gender matter: A multidimensional approach to conceptualizing and measuring stress in African American women. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 14(3), 173–182.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Courtney D. Cogburn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tabbye M. Chavous
    • 2
  • Tiffany M. Griffin
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Michigan, Institute for Social ResearchAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.University of Michigan, Combined Program in Education and PsychologyAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations