Applied Psychology OPUS

The Role of Stereotype Vulnerability on Black Students’ Relational Engagement

Despite a decrease in high school dropout rates for Black students over the last thirty years, Black students continue trailing behind their White counterparts in all academic categories. A growing body of literature suggests society’s negative stereotypes play a major role in Black students’ academic achievement. Using stereotype threat as a guide, the present study explored the role of stereotype vulnerability on Black Students relational engagement.

The study used secondary data from NYCASES; P.I. Selcuk Sirin a pan-racial of 97 “Black” high school students (51.5% females = 50) from minority and immigrant backgrounds (Mage= 16.15 years, SD= 3.50). A multiple regression was used to assess the ability of two variables (stereotype vulnerability and perceived teachers’ expectations) to predict relational engagement. The total variance explained by the model was 17.0%, F (1,94)= 9.783, p=.002, but there was no significant change in the model due to the added moderator. Stereotype vulnerability (beta=. -30, b=. -25, p=.002) and perceived teachers’ expectations (beta=.29, b=.29, p=.002) continued to be a significant predictor for relational engagement but perceived teachers’ expectations was not significant as a moderator of this relation. These preliminary findings suggest stereotype vulnerability and perceived teachers’ expectations are influential factors in Black students and levels of relation engagement.