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American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 381–402 | Cite as

Academic Achievement of African American Preadolescents: The Influence of Teacher Perceptions

  • Sherri F. Seyfried
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the factors associated with the academic success of predominantly, middle-class African American preadolescent students. This study proposed an ecological model that considered the interaction of family environment, teacher perceptions of social skills, and student characteristics. The estimated model explained 58% of the variance in grade point average. Path analysis revealed three direct effects on grade point average, (a) grade level (negative), (b) teacher perceptions of social skills, and (c) academic ability. Findings revealed that teacher perceptions of social skills was a stronger predictor of grade point average than academic ability. Two indirect effects on grade point average were found. The first indirect effect was negative: gender predicted academic ability, which predicted teacher perceptions of social skills, which predicted grade point average. The second indirect effect was positive and it was from ability to teacher perceptions to grade point average. Implications for policy and practice are made that suggest a collaborative model of school counseling designed to “promote” the social and academic competence of African American students. Interventions that enhance teacher practices are also suggested.

academic success African American preadolescents teacher perceptions 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherri F. Seyfried
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Washington School of Social WorkUSA.

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