Race and academic disidentification

This correlation study followed on the author's previous work (Osborne, 1995) demonstrating that Black boys, but not Black girls or White boys and girls, disidentify from academics over time. As in the earlier study, data regarding self-esteem and GPA were drawn from the National Education Longitudinal Study. This study, however, focused on Hispanic students in addition to White and Black students, and data from 8th, 10th, and 12th grades were examined to see if girls might disidentify later in their school careers. Results showed that Whites had higher GPAs at each grade level, and that GPAs were statistically equivalent across grades. GPAs for Hispanic students dropped across grade levels, and GPAs for Black students showed such a pattern even more strongly. However, Blacks had higher self-esteem at all three grade levels, and Hispanics had the lowest self-esteem in 8th grade, but the highest self-esteem by 12th grade. The correlation between GPA and self-esteem was significant for all groups in 8th grade, but Black boys showed a weakening correlation over time such that by 12th grade, GPA and self-esteem were not significantly related. There was some evidence of weakening correlations in Hispanic males between 8th and 12th grades, particularly in the domain of reading. These findings offer additional evidence that Black boys tend to disidentify from academics over time.

Osborne, J. W. (1997). Race and academic disidentification. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 728-735.