Stereotype threat, identification with academics, and withdrawal from school: Why the most successful students of colour might be the most likely to withdraw

This study focused on incoming students at a racially diverse inner-city Midwestern high school in the United States. Identification with academics was measured and correlated with GPAs, levels of absenteeism, behavioral problems, and retention levels. Regardless of race, the students who valued and viewed academics as central to the self had higher grades, less absenteeism, and fewer behavioral referrals. Among students of color, however, those who most identified with academics were most likely to withdraw from school. Academic identification did not significantly affect withdrawal rates among white students. This finding lends support to the counterintuitive notion that the individuals most at risk for withdrawing from school are those operating under the stigma of low expectations combined with a high investment in schooling.

Osborne, J. W., & Walker, C. (2006). Stereotype threat, identification with academics, and withdrawal from school: Why the most successful students of colour might be the most likely to withdraw. Educational Psychology, 26, 563-577.

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