Not Quite White or Black: Biracial Students’ Perceptions of Threat and Belonging Across School Contexts
© The Author(s) 2020. Stereotype threat posits that students who are members of negatively stereotyped groups in school should feel more threat and less belonging, especially in schools with large achievement disparities and low racial/ethnic minority representation. This research has focused primarily on the experiences of negatively stereotyped monoracial minority students, but for a biracial Black/White student who claims both a negatively stereotyped (e.g., Black) and a positively stereotyped (e.g., White) identity, do these outcomes vary? We assessed 1,399 biracial Black/White, monoracial Black, and monoracial White middle school students’ perceptions of threat and belonging in school, across four lower-stereotype-salient schools (i.e., racially diverse schools) and seven higher-stereotype-salient schools (i.e., racially homogeneous schools). Biracial students reported a similar amount of threat across school contexts, whereas monoracial students’ threat was differentially context dependent. These findings suggest biracial students may face unique identity-related threats in school and point to a need to develop supports specific to their experiences.
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