Exploring Risk and Protective Factors Among African American Males in Alternative and General Education Settings
Crossley, Tia Billy
MetadataShow full item record
A large number of African American males have experienced risk and protective factors that may impede or enhance their success in the school setting. As a result of these risk and protective factors, they may or may not be at-risk for adverse outcomes behaviorally as well as academically. As indicated throughout the literature, to better serve behaviorally at-risk students, the educational system has responded by implementing methods such as zero-tolerance policies, increased security, and alternative education programs. While the former has been established throughout the literature, there has been a paucity of research on alternative education programs in general and even less with regard to African American male students. This study examined four levels of risk and protective factors, individual, school, community, and family, among African American males in both alternative and general educational settings. One hundred fifteen students ages 11 to 16 were assessed for demographics, self-efficacy, school engagement, and racial identity measures. The purpose of the study was to examine the differences between risk and protective factors among African American males in alternative and general education settings. Specifically, the individual level was examined in detail using the following risk and protective factors: self-efficacy, school engagement, and racial identity. This study also examined the impact risk and protective factors have in predicting the likelihood that an African American male would be placed in an alternative education setting. Both independent samples t-tests and hierarchical logistic regression analyses were used. Results indicated that there are statistically significant differences in levels of self-efficacy and school engagement between African American males in alternative education settings and general educations settings. No difference was found in levels of racial identity among the groups. Results from the hierarchical logistic regressions indicated that self-efficacy is a significant predictor. These findings show the importance for school psychologists to work with students to instill confidence to be successful in school settings. Also, since self-efficacy was shown to be a significant predictor of placement status in alternative school settings, it is important for school psychologists and school personnel to get involved with these students before they even become at-risk.