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Child Dev. 2011 Sep-Oct;82(5):1470-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01621.x. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Ethnic stigma, academic anxiety, and intrinsic motivation in middle childhood.

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UCLA Department of Psychology, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.


Previous research addressing the dynamics of stigma and academics has focused on African American adolescents and adults. The present study examined stigma awareness, academic anxiety, and intrinsic motivation among 451 young (ages 6-11) and diverse (African American, Chinese, Dominican, Russian, and European American) students. Results indicated that ethnic-minority children reported higher stigma awareness than European American children. For all children, stigma awareness was associated with higher academic anxiety and lower intrinsic motivation. Despite these associations, ethnic-minority children reported higher levels of intrinsic motivation than their European American peers. A significant portion of the higher intrinsic motivation among Dominican students was associated with their higher levels of school belonging, suggesting that supportive school environments may be important sources of intrinsic motivation among some ethnic-minority children.

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