Racial Identity, Social Context, and Race-Related Social Cognition in African Americans During Middle Childhood

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In 2005, there was a study done to see how children in Elementary school formed friendships. It was to see if African American students would form friendship in their own race or with another. Before the study happened, there were so observations of the fact that these students would form social groups that were based off their own race. The researchers were expecting some discrimination for the students toward their peer and even teachers. There were seventy-three African American children that were involved in this study. These students were apart of this study ever since they were the between the ages of 6 to 12 months. Originally, there were one hundred and forty-four families involved but over time some families dropped out of the program. The study finally took place when the students were in the grades of third and fifth. One of the reasons that the age group was between 8 to 10 was because, "children have relatively sophisticated views about racial discrimination and prejudice by age 10, there is more variability in this knowledge at age 8 suggesting that middle childhood is a time of significant growth in understanding of discrimination" (http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/dev/44/6/1537.html) The results of this study wasn't what was expected. "Only 3% of the children were in classrooms with less than 15% African American students. About a third of the students in the sample were in classrooms that were between 15% and 40% African American, a third were in classrooms that were between 40% and 80% African American, and a third were in classrooms that were more than 80% African American." (http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/dev/44/6/1537.html) The students were enrolled in 40 different schools that ranged about 9% to 100% of African American and 0% to 88% European American enrollment. The study showed that out of seventy three students only six of them were reported to have no European American friendships. The other sixty-seven had no problem connecting and gaining relationship with students that were a different race than themselves. Even though this study was done, it doesn't mean that the seventy-three students who were apart of it won't experience discrimination in their peers, teachers, coaches, and etc or continue to gain friendships with other races in the future. It does show that in elementary school, students start to act upon looking different from other students so some tend to make friendships with the students that look similar to how they look.
I picked this journal article because it really caught my eye. Today in society, if you would walk into any high school lunchroom you would see how the same ethnicity usually stay with each other. The blacks with the blacks, latinos with latinos, whites with whites, and etc. So when I was reading this article I found it very interesting to learn that we started this sort of race separation early on and some of us weren't aware that it was and still is happening. This study was evidence that it does happen but it isn't as common for some as people would think because only six of seventy-three students felt it wasn't important to reach out to the European Americans. This study makes you think about the same decisions you make that you weren't even aware that you were making. It's a little eye opener for some and a reminder to others. So the next you walk into a cafeteria, really think about who you are sitting or even close with and ask yourself " Why this person?" Is it because they are also black, hmong, mexican, white, etc or is it because they are just an amazing human being?


References

Rowley, Stephanie J., Margaret R. Burchinal, Joanne E. Roberts, and Susan A. Zeisel. "Racial Identity, Social Context, and Race-related Social Cognition in African Americans during Middle Childhood." Developmental Psychology 44.6 (2008): 1537-546. Http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/dev/44/6/1537.html. 8 July 2005. Web. 23 Apr. 2008.

4 Comments

I liked how you expressed this journal. Sometimes we sit with the wrong people for the wrong reasons and it apparently happens a lot. It also suprised me that it happen at such an early stage of our lives. I even remember my friends in second grade and most of them were Hmong, just like me! Why do we feel more comfortable with people that looks or acts like us? We grew up with people like us so obviously we are going to scout for friends like them, but where does the idea that "they are my friends" set in?

I really enjoyed reading this article because its so true that we tend to be with people that look like us. When I was younger and still now people tend to follow their race then blend with others, I guess that's how they feel more comfortable but we need to stop and break that change.

This article was good. It pointed out a lot of true points. You did a great job making it very clear for the readers. I now what to read the original text.

Through this article I was able to see how kids actually started sitting with their own kind really early =, i never really knew that.

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This page contains a single entry by whitm144 published on July 3, 2013 12:27 PM.

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