Racial and emotional factors predicting teachers' perceptions of classroom behavioral maladjustment for urban African American male youth


  • The research reported was supported by funds from the National Institute of Mental Health (PO1 #57136). Appreciation is expressed to the parents, teachers, students, and participating school district personnel who supported this research.


The present study investigated the predictive influence of students' reactive emotional coping and racial socialization experiences on teachers' perceptions of classroom behavior adjustment problems. Participants were 148 African American male youth attending a secondary school in a large northeastern city. Behavioral outcomes included teacher ratings of student behavioral overactivity in different classroom situations. Results using hierarchical regression analyses show that measures of social rejection sensitivity, anger expression, and racial socialization predict teacher-observed behavioral overactivity, with overt anger expression being the most powerful predictor. Findings suggest that racial socialization and particular styles of emotional coping are important determinants for teachers' impressions of classroom behavior for some African American adolescent males. Implications for future research and interventions with African American male youth in urban secondary schools are discussed. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.