Family-level factors affecting social and academic competence of African American children: An examination of promotive and protective factors

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan D. Calkins, Professor (Creator)
Jessica Dollar, Research Scientist (Creator)
Susan P. Keane, Professor (Creator)
Jeffrey Labban (Creator)
Tyreasa Washington, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Background: Research shows children’s life trajectories and outcomes are strongly influenced by factors affecting development of social and academic competence that also interact with racial disparities in academic settings. Given the importance of social and academic competencies, identifying factors that promote these competencies among African American children is critical to their success over the life course. Objective: This study examines a socioeconomically diverse sample of African American children to determine whether family-level factors promote and protect social and academic competence. Method: We analyze longitudinal data from a convenience sample of 97 African American children (54 girls, 43 boys) and their families who participated in a larger study of social and academic development. We analyze 2 waves of data collected when children were 7 and 10 years old. Results: A series of 2-level, random-intercept, fixed-effects models show social competence is positively affected by quality of parent–child relationships, positive parenting practices, low parental stress, and routine family home environment. Similarly, academic competence is positively affected by low parental stress and family social support. Conclusions: Study findings fill a critical knowledge gap regarding predictors of social and academic competence of African American children from various socioeconomic strata. Potential avenues for intervention are discussed.

Additional Information

Child and Youth Care Forum, 49, 383–407
Language: English
Date: 2019
Protective factors, Promotive factors, Risk and resilience, Middle-class African Americans, Academic gaps, Black families

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