Unraveling the race paradox of achievement and self-views

Collette P. Eccleston, Joshua M. Smyth, Leonard M. Lopoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Considerable evidence indicates that African American students achieve less academically than European American students. Yet, African American students hold more positive self-views than their European American counterparts. Previous studies that address these seemingly paradoxical findings focus on students in a relatively narrow age range and/or convenience samples. Therefore, the current study examines two common explanations for these seemingly paradoxical findings, among a large and diverse sample of African American and European American students (N = 1, 493) from elementary to post-secondary school and across the socioeconomic spectrum. Results indicate that among a diverse group of students and conceptualized in two different ways, African American students do not devalue academics. However, African American students are more likely than European American students to discount academic feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Devaluing
  • Discounting
  • Racial achievement gap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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