The academic achievement of African American students during early adolescence: an examination of multiple risk, promotive, and protective factors

Am J Community Psychol. 2002 Jun;30(3):367-99. doi: 10.1023/A:1015389103911.


This study examined the effects of multiple risk, promotive, and protective factors on three achievement-related measures (i.e., grade point average, number of absences, and math achievement test scores) for African American 7th-grade students (n = 837). There were 3 main findings. First, adolescents had lower grade point averages, more absences, and lower achievement test scores as their exposure to risk factors increased. Second, different promotive and protective factors emerged as significant contributors depending on the nature of the achievement-related outcome that was being assessed. Third, protective factors were identified whose effects were magnified in the presence of multiple risks. Results were discussed in light of the developmental tasks facing adolescents and the contexts in which youth exposed to multiple risks and their families live.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Achievement*
  • Adolescent
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Child
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maryland
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Students / psychology*