The influence of racial identity and possible selves on academic achievement
Joiner, Chakeba L.
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Previous research has shown that African American adolescents who have a positive sense of ethnic identity and a balance in what they expect and what they want to avoid are more successful in school than those youth who do not have a balance. In the present study, racial identity, possible selves, and academic achievement were examined with an economically representative sample of African American students in the seventh, eighth, eleventh, and twelfth grades. It was hypothesized that: 1) a positive sense of racial identity would predict a balance in possible selves, 2) a balance in possible selves would predict academic achievement, 3) possible selves would have a mediating relationship between racial identity and academic achievement, and 4) socioeconomic status would be associated positively with academic achievement. In addition, exploratory hypotheses were examined for gender differences and the effect of socioeconomic status on racial identity and possible selves. Results revealed balanced possible selves were significantly related to academic achievement for middle school and high school students. Racial identity and socioeconomic status were not significantly related to any variables.