Academic disidentification in African American college students : an exploratory investigation of the role of teacher trust, parental racial socialization, and gender

McClain, Shannon Elizabeth
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The purpose of this study was to explore whether academic disidentification (i.e., the relation between ASC and GPA), differed based on students’ gender and reported level of parental racial-ethnic socialization and teacher trust. This study was exploratory in nature, as few researchers have examined the relation between parental racial-ethnic socialization and academic outcomes or the relation between teacher trust and academic outcomes. Secondary goals of this study included and examination of (1) the relation between racial socialization and academic outcomes, (2) the relation between teacher trust and academic outcomes, (3) the relation between parenting constructs (i.e., racial socialization and parental warmth) and teacher trust, and (4) the role of parental warmth as a variable that potentially buffers negative child outcomes or enhances positive child outcomes. Participants included 319 African American students (120 males, 199 females) recruited from a large, southwestern, predominantly white university. Results indicated the presence of academic disidentification as unique to upperclassmen males (i.e., the relation between ASC and GPA was significant for females and underclassmen males, but not upperclassmen males). Parental messages of promotion of mistrust were found to significantly moderate the relation between ASC and GPA. Further, in examining the influence of the combination of teacher trust x sex on the relation between ASC and GPA, a significant three-way interaction was present. Teacher trust was also found to be a significant predictor of GPA, with gender significantly moderating this relation. Gender differences were present for teacher trust, but there were not differences between underclassmen and upperclassmen. Racial socialization variables were not found to significantly predict GPA. However, two types of racial socialization (promotion of mistrust and egalitarianism) and parental warmth were found to be significant predictors of teacher trust. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.