Title

The Impact of Racial Socialization on Racial Identity of At-Risk African American Female Eighth Grade Students in Middle School

Location

Harborside Center

Strand #1

Family & Community

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

This proposal is related to Strands V. “HOME”: FAMILY & COMMUNITY. Racial socialization messages from parents/guardians influence the racial identity of at-risk African American adolescent female students in middle school. New research shows how parental racial socialization messages influence academic achievement, racial pride, self-worth and egalitarianism of African American female students. African American adolescents experience a dichotomy of adhering to their parents/guardians guidance, or determining how to assimilate into the school culture with teachers and peers. This presentation will show how middle school female students interpret and apply their parents/guardians racial socialization messages resulting in difficulties transitioning from their home environments to the middle school setting, which ultimately leads to low academic achievement and school disciplinary problems. The knowledge gained from this presentation may enable school personnel to assist at-risk African American female eighth grade students by increasing academic support, decreasing negative behavioral issues, and promoting cultural competence through fostering positive teacher-student relationships.

Brief Program Description

New research on the impact of racial socialization on student achievement can provide valuable data for decreasing behavioral problems and increasing academic achievement of at-risk African American female students. The researchers will share these findings and in turn share important insights and techniques for reducing behavioral issues and improve academic performance.

Summary

In summary, the persistent challenge to decrease in-school behavioral problems and increase overall academic achievement in predominantly African American low performing middle schools is a lingering chronic obstacle for teachers and school leaders. Analysis of the racial messages received by African American adolescent girls is essential in any effort to effectively deal with this challenge. The need to better understand why some at-risk African American female students struggle to make the transition from the home environment into middle school prompted the presenters to investigate the Impact of Racial Socialization on Racial Identity of At-Risk African American Female Eighth Grade Students in Middle School. The results of this study can now better inform schools how to develop and nurture close relationships with parents and allow them to be a part of their children’s learning process. This study shows the salient responsibility of school counselors to advocate for students and assist with their academic, personal, and social needs.

Participants in this presentation will be provided with study results and practices associated with their use. The participants will receive instruction on how to apply the recommendations from this study to include pedagogical and leadership practices proven to be viable and effective. Findings and conclusions from this study will be shared. The study results have been gathered in cooperation with district practionaires and university researchers. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions of persons with different perspectives giving a more balanced view of applying the insights and knowledge gained from the study. In addition, participants will have access to the presenters for questions once the conference is over. Participants will also be encouraged to contact the study participants and seek technical assistance once they return to their work sites.

Evidence

The initial efforts to learn more about the impact of Racial of Socialization on the Racial Identity on At-Risk African American Female Eighth Grade Students in Middle School grew into a formal dissertation. Eight participants: four students and four parents/guardians within an urban Georgia school district were identified for the study. The participants in this research study provided detailed descriptive data about the racial messages shared between daughters and parents. Five sources of data were utilized to capture the responses of the participants: interviews, observations, a researcher journal, Multidimensional Inventory Black Identity (MIBI)-teen instrument, and document analysis. These sources enhanced the validity of the findings of this research study. Similar studies (Coard, Wallace, Stevenson, & Brotman, 2004; Hughes & Chen, 1997; Rivas-Drake, Hughes, & Way, 2009) highlight racial identity, racial socialization, the middle school concept, parental views on education, and racial identity theories used to understand the relationship between racial identity and contextual stressors in middle school. The purpose of this study was to provide a rich descriptive analysis of how the racial socialization process influences at-risk African American female eighth students’ racial identity and consequently their middle school experiences.

Previous studies have suggested the concept of racial identity is important for African Americans females’ psychological factors such as self-esteem and self-worth (Akos & Ellis, 2008; Oney et al., 2011; Wakefield & Hudley, 2007). The concept of how racial socialization messages impact African American female adolescents’ racial identity is desperately needed in order to prepare and defeat racial injustices that happen in school (Hall & Smith, 2012; Morris, 2007).

Research supports the desperate need for teachers and school leaders to understand the nature of racial socialization female students receive at home in order to help them make a smooth transition from the home to school environments.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Victoria A. Lockhart, Ed.D. is the school counselor at Livingston Elementary School in Newton County. Her interest on the Impact of Racial of Socialization on Racial Identity on At-Risk African American Female Eighth Grade Students in Middle School was inspired through teaching and mentoring middle school students. Through the eight years of working in education, she has developed a passion working and advocating for all students, especially at-risk. Dr. Lockhart holds a B.A. in Spanish and a M.Ed. in School Counseling, coaches girls’ basketball and track, and conducts professional learning workshops on cultural competency and racial socialization.

Rudo E. Tsemunhu, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Valdosta State University. She received her PhD. from Pennsylvania State University in Educational Leadership. She teaches issues in School leadership, School Improvement and School & Community Relations. Her main research interests are race and racism in education and School Leadership.

Ronny Green, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Valdosta State University. His school site experiences include serving as a guidance counselor, school administrator and school principal. He was recognized as an Outstanding Principal by the Florida Department of Education. He served for five years with the State of Florida coordinating leadership development for the State of Florida via the Florida Council on Educational Management. He has served for years as a mentor to new principals and principals at failing schools. His book Natural Forces: How to Significantly Increase Student Achievement in the Third Millennium focuses on systems thinking and leadership development and has sold in the thousands.

Renee Hannibal Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Valdosta State University.

Lee Grimes Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling at Valdosta State University.

Keyword Descriptors

Racial Socialization, Racial Identity, At-Risk African American Female Eighth Grade Students, Middle School

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 5:30 PM

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Mar 8th, 4:00 PM Mar 8th, 5:30 PM

The Impact of Racial Socialization on Racial Identity of At-Risk African American Female Eighth Grade Students in Middle School

Harborside Center

New research on the impact of racial socialization on student achievement can provide valuable data for decreasing behavioral problems and increasing academic achievement of at-risk African American female students. The researchers will share these findings and in turn share important insights and techniques for reducing behavioral issues and improve academic performance.