Identifying the correct children for inclusion in school-based intervention programs: are teacher perceptions of childhood aggression influenced by child ethnicity?
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In order to determine whether Euro-American teachers over-perceive aggression in African-American children, peer ratings of aggression were obtained via a modified version of the Revised Class Play (Masten, Morrison, & Pellegrini 1985) for 134 Euro-American, 178 African-American, and 101 Hispanic children in second and third grades who had been nominated by their teachers for inclusion in a school-based intervention program targeting aggression. Differences in peer ratings of aggression as a function of the rated child's ethnicity were examined, as was whether or not these differences were moderated by ethnic composition of the classroom. Contrary to prediction, a significant main effect was yielded for ethnicity [F(2,266) = 3.587, p < .05] such that African-American children received higher peer ratings of aggression than did their other ethnicity peers. This was true regardless of whether the child's peers shared his or her ethnicity status within the classroom. It was concluded that Euro-American teachers did not over-nominate African-American children given that peers of every ethnicity also viewed the teacher nominated African-American children as more aggressive than nominated children of different ethnic subgroups. The discussion highlights the need to explore alternative explanations for the over-representation of African-American children in aggressive samples as well as the need to consider school-based universal prevention programs.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 15-18).
O'Brien, Karen Michelle (2000). Identifying the correct children for inclusion in school-based intervention programs: are teacher perceptions of childhood aggression influenced by child ethnicity?. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from