Closing the achievement gap: The association of racial climate with achievement and behavioral outcomes

Erica Mattison, Mark S Aber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the relationship between school racial climate and students' self-reports of academic and discipline outcomes, including whether racial climate mediated and/or moderated the relationship between race and outcomes. Using the Racial Climate Survey-High School Version (M. Aber et al., unpublished), data were gathered from African American (n = 382) and European American students (n = 1456) regarding their perceptions of racial climate. About 18% of the respondents were low-income and approximately 50% were male. Positive perceptions of the racial climate were associated with higher student achievement and fewer discipline problems. Further, race moderated the relationship between racial climate and both achievement and discipline outcomes. Finally, racial differences in students' grades and discipline outcomes were associated with differences in perceptions of racial climate. Results suggest careful attention should be given to the racial climate of secondary schools, particularly for adolescents who perceive schools as unfair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Academic achievement
  • Discipline
  • Racial fairness
  • Racism
  • School racial climate
  • Student perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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