Schools provide a place of learning for adolescents and can be considered safe havens. However, in some cases, African American adolescents are subjected to discrimination by peers and teachers, which can impact their own academic engagement and abilities. Applying a risk and resilience framework, the present study examined the relationship between adolescents’ perceptions of school-based discrimination and academic outcomes in a sample of African American middle school students. Adolescents’ reports of perceived school-based discrimination and racial socialization were identified as predictors of academic outcomes (i.e., academic persistence, academic self-efficacy, and academic self-concept). The study also investigated whether racial socialization moderated the relationship between school-based discrimination and achievement outcomes. The study sample comprised 74 African American adolescents (49% female) and one of their parents. Hierarchical regressions showed that racial discrimination by peers was negatively related to academic outcomes. Furthermore, we found that dimensions of racial socialization buffered the effects of school-based discrimination on academic outcomes. Implications for the importance of investigating race-related factors in the academic outcomes of African American youth will be discussed.
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