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