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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003 Apr;71(2):235-42.

The effects of race and problem type on teachers' assessments of student behavior.

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  • 1Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, USA.


The authors tested the hypothesis that race bias in teacher evaluations may be problem specific by examining the extent to which ratings of child behavior were influenced by the interaction between the race of the child and the type of presenting behavior. Teachers (N = 197) were presented with three vignettes (overcontrolled, undercontrolled, and "normal"), systematically paired with a photograph of a male child (African American, Asian American, or Caucasian). Respondents rated the seriousness, referability, and typicality of the behavior; the child's family life; academic ability and performance; and causal dimensions. Although results did not reveal a bias in the ratings of African American students, data suggest that stereotypes remain embedded in teachers' interpretive framework for Asian Americans, particularly regarding expectations of overcontrolled traits.

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