Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Awareness of ethnicity-based stigma found to start early

Date:
September 12, 2011
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
A new study examines more than 450 second and fourth graders in New York City with ethnic-minority and -majority backgrounds. Researchers asked children questions pertaining to their anxiety toward school and feelings of belonging in school. Compared to ethnic-majority peers, ethnic-minority children reported more awareness of stigma and higher academic anxiety. Ethnic-minority children in this study also reported high interest in school in the face of stigma.

Students are stigmatized for a variety of reasons, with youths from ethnic-minority backgrounds often feeling devalued in school. New research on young children from a range of backgrounds has found that even elementary school children are aware of such stigmatization and, like older youths, feel more anxious about school as a result. Children who are stigmatized are more likely to have less interest in school, yet ethnic-minority children in this study reported high interest in school in the face of stigma. For some students, feeling close to people at school helps them maintain higher levels of interest in academics, despite the potentially negative effects of stigmatization.

The findings are from researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and New York University. They appear in the journal Child Development.

Researchers studied more than 450 second and fourth graders in New York City with ethnic-minority backgrounds (specifically, African American, Chinese, Dominican, and Russian) or ethnic-majority backgrounds (European American). The children were asked questions about their awareness of stigma, anxiety about school, interest in school, and feelings of belonging in school.

Differences in the young children's awareness of stigma were similar to differences among adults, with ethnic-minority children generally reporting more awareness than ethnic-majority children. There were few differences by grade, suggesting that even second graders are sensitive to ethnic attitudes in society.

Ethnic-minority children also reported higher academic anxiety, which the researchers attributed to their greater awareness of stigma.

But the study also found that some ethnic-minority students reported significantly higher interest in school than their ethnic-majority peers, despite past research showing that awareness of stigmatization is associated with lower interest in school. For Dominican children in particular, this seemingly paradoxical finding was explained, in part, by their feelings about belonging: For these youngsters, feeling close connections to people at school accounted for their high levels of interest in school, despite their awareness of stigma.

The study has implications for intervention efforts, suggest the researchers. Programs aimed at decreasing students' perceptions of group stigma (such as community role models) could help keep students' academic anxiety in check. And school-based interventions that foster close connections among individuals at school may help students stay interested in learning.

The study was funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cari Gillen-O’Neel, Diane N. Ruble and Andrew J. Fuligni. Ethnic Stigma, Academic Anxiety, and Intrinsic Motivation in Middle Childhood. Child Development, 29 AUG 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01621.x

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "Awareness of ethnicity-based stigma found to start early." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830082046.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2011, September 12). Awareness of ethnicity-based stigma found to start early. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830082046.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "Awareness of ethnicity-based stigma found to start early." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110830082046.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins