Promoting positive youth development by examining the career and educational aspirations of African American males: implications for designing educational programs

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Issue Date
2011-11
Embargo End Date
Authors
Lee, Felecia A.
Lewis, Rhonda K.
Sly, Jamilia Raki
Carmack, Chakema C.
Roberts, Shani Roshelle
Basore, Polly
Advisor
Citation

Journal of prevention & intervention in the community. 2011 Oct; 39(4): 299-309.

Abstract

African American males experience poor academic performance, high absenteeism at school, and are at increased risk of being involved in violence than other racial groups. Given that the educational outlook for African American males appears bleak, it is important to assess the aspirations of these adolescent males in order to find the gap between aspirations and educational attainment. In order to promote positive development within this population, it is essential that factors that affect African American males be identified. A survey was administered to male students attending elementary, middle, and high schools in a local school district. A cross-sectional study was conducted to examine the career and educational aspirations of African American males. A total of 473 males were surveyed: 45% African American, 22% Caucasian, 13% biracial, and 19% Other (including Asian American, Hispanic, Native American). The results revealed that African American males aspired to attend college at the same rate as other ethnic groups. Also, African American males were more likely to aspire to be professional athletes than males from other ethnic groups. Important factors to consider when designing a program are discussed as well as future research and limitations.

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