Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Stereotype Threat in Black US-American Children

In a study, black US-American children (n=190, age 10 to 12) completed the Stereotype Awareness Task (participants were asked to list all stereotypes they knew about Black people). One to two weeks later, they were asked to read a target word list and choose which two out of five words fit best the concept represented by the list. For this purpose, they were randomly assigned to one of two groups: a) threat condition, i.e. the children were told the test was a measure of intelligence and the scores of Black and White children would be compared, b) neutral condition, i.e., no reference to skin tone.

Some results: The most common stereotype listed by 44% of the children was that Backs are less intelligent than Whites. The children in the stereotype threat condition performed more poorly on the academic task compared to the control group; the stereotype threat effect was moderated by both the awareness of stereotypes and Black identity (measured using the Multidemensional Inventory of Black Identity-Teen, children were asked about their feelings toward Blacks as a group, their view of society's beliefs about Blacks as a group, the importance of being Black to their self-concept, and their approach to dealing with issues about Blacks).

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- Hines Shelvin, K., Rivadeneyra, R. & Zimmerman, C. (2014). Stereotype threat in African American children: The role of Black identity and stereotype awareness. Revue Internationale de Psychologie Sociale, 3-4(27), 175-204.

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