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Yvette Almaguer

Developing Leaders Through Graduate Education

University of Pennsylvania

Major:

Psychology

Mentor:

Niobe Way, Ph.D.

Perceived Teacher Support and Academic Achievement: Does Ethnicity and Gender Matter?

Perceived teacher support is an important classroom context that can influence engagement and affect outcomes such as academic achievement. The study examines the variation of perceived teacher support according to ethnicity and gender and its relationship to academic achievement and engagement (controlling for self-esteem). Data for this study come from the Early Adolescent Cohort Study of the New York University Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education. Self-report surveys were administered in three schools to 380 sixth graders (43% boys, 57% girls) from the following ethnicities: Chinese (25%), African American (15%), Hispanic (19%), White (26%), and other (15%). Results showed according to ethnicity there was a significant difference in perceived teacher support and grades; there was no significant difference in engagement. According to gender there was significant difference in perceived teacher support; there was no significant difference in grades and engagement. The implications of these results indicate that when examining academic achievement according to ethnicity and gender, engagement may not be an accurate moderator.