Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Ed.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Adelson, Jill Lynn

Author's Keywords

African American elementary students; Stereotype threat; Resiliency; Mathematics attitudes; Educational attitudes


African American students--Education; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary); Academic achievement--Psychological aspects; Stereotypes (Social psychology)


African American students continue to underperform and are underrepresented in areas, including mathematics (Heubert & Hauser, 1999; Jencks & Phillips, 1998; National Postsecondary Education Cooperative, Gandara, Bial, & Educational Resources Information Center, 2001). Students' aspirations and beliefs about the education they are receiving frequently do not match with the perceptions of their teachers, especially for African American students (Garibaldi, 1992). Teachers of these students often perceive these students' academic ability, attitudes, and motivation negatively even though African American students may experience them positively. Two competing theories regarding how others' view of a student's abilities influences that student's academic attitudes are stereotype threat and resiliency theory. The purpose of this study was to explore these questions and research topics. Results of the current study support resiliency theory, with African American students reporting significantly greater enjoyment of mathematics than White students and reporting self-perceptions in mathematics at about the same rate as White students regardless of teachers underrating them and overrating their White counterparts on both measures.