Considering Diverse School Contexts: Ethnic/Racial Identity, Academic Achievement, and Aggressive Behavior during the Transition from Middle to High School

Sheena Jeswani Mirpuri, Fordham University

Abstract

The objectives of this dissertation were to 1) examine whether ethnic/racial identity influences academic engagement and aggressive behaviors, 2) examine whether test scores, academic engagement, and aggressive behaviors influence ethnic/racial identity, and 3) whether ethnic/racial incongruence (i.e., the change in percent of same-ethnic/racial peers from middle to high school) moderates these relationships. The current study utilized data collected in a randomized controlled trial and long-term follow-up of a school-based social and emotional learning intervention called The Reading, Writing, Respect and Resolution (4Rs) Program (Jones, Brown, & Aber, 2011). Participants included 419 Black and Hispanic youth who were included in the last two assessment waves collected in either 7th/8th grade (middle school) and 9th/10th grade (high school). Exploration and commitment subscales of ethnic/racial identity were measured at both waves using Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (Phinney, 1992; Roberts et al., 1999), emotional and behavioral academic engagement were measured at both waves using the School Engagement Questionnaire/Engagement Versus Disaffection with Learning Scale (Furrer & Skinner, 2003; Skinner, Kindermann, & Furrer, 2009), aggressive behaviors were measured at both waves using the Aggression Scale (Orpinas & Frankowski, 2001). Middle school English Language Arts and Mathematics standardized test scores were obtained from the New York Department of Education. Using publicly available data, ethnic/racial incongruence was determined based on the change in the percent of a student's same-ethnic/racial peers from middle to high school. Structural equation modeling techniques and multigroup path analyses were conducted using Mplus 7.31 (Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2012). Overall, results indicated that ELA standardized test scores in middle school positively predicts commitment at Wave 2 even when controlling for baseline commitment at Wave 1. Post hoc exploratory analyses additionally indicate a significant three-way interaction, such that there are differences in the relationship between emotional engagement in middle school and commitment in high school based on ethnicity/race and ethnic/racial incongruence groups.^

Subject Area

Psychology

Recommended Citation

Mirpuri, Sheena Jeswani, "Considering Diverse School Contexts: Ethnic/Racial Identity, Academic Achievement, and Aggressive Behavior during the Transition from Middle to High School" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10125238.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10125238

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