Stereotype threat in African American children: The role of Black identity and stereotype awareness

Kristal Hines Shelvin, Rocío Rivadeneyra, Corinne Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Stereotype threat has been identified as a possible factor in the underperformance of African American students. We focus on two factors that may moderate stereotype threat vulnerability: racial identity and awareness of stereotypes. We examined African American children's (N=186, aged 10-12) racial identity using profiles derived from a cluster analysis of responses to the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity-Teen (Scottham et al., 2008). Awareness of stereotypes was assessed with a racial stereotype-generation task. At a subsequent session, participants completed a challenging language arts test under stereotype-threat or neutral conditions. The stereotype threat effect was only found for two Black identity profiles. The most common stereotype generated, Blacks are less intelligent than Whites, moderated the effect. Children aware of the intelligence stereotype demonstrated the classic stereotype threat effect, which was not found for children who did not list this stereotype. Understanding individual differences in stereotype threat vulnerability may help to identify protective factors for students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-204
Number of pages30
JournalRevue Internationale de Psychologie Sociale
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Black identity
  • Stereotype awareness
  • Stereotype threat


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