Study Finds That Schools Don’t Help Black Teens Shed Anti-Social Behaviors

A new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison finds that although African American adolescents are more likely than their White peers to be in the criminal justice system, they are less likely to be the subjects of research that examines how they got there and strategies for helping them get out of the system.

James Li, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin and senior author of the study, says that “the results show no difference in the way antisocial behaviors develop in African American youths and White youths. White kids are more likely as adolescents to grow out of it and African American kids are more likely to fall into the chronic group.”

The study found that strong family support systems help both Black and White teenagers transition out of antisocial behaviors such as fighting, stealing, and vandalism. But schools were effective in helping White teens cope with antisocial behavior but no so for Black adolescents. The authors found that Black teens tended not to develop relationships with teachers and counselors who can help them deal with the problems of adolescents.

Dr. Li added that “if you’re an African American kid, you may not have the luxury of growing out of these problems like White kids, because you are more likely to get suspended from school, interact with police or go to juvenile detention. If you are in the system, it can be hard to get out of the system.”

The full study, “The Influence of Parents and Schools on Developmental Trajectories of Antisocial Behaviors in Caucasian and African American Youths,” was published on the website of the journal Development and Psychopathology. It may be accessed here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Alcorn State University Announces Unique STEM-Focused MBA Degree Program

The new STEM-MBA program at Alcorn State, the first of its kind in the state of Mississippi, will prepare students to become business leaders in STEM industries through courses on foundational STEM and business concepts, as well as data analysis and strategic decision-making.

Five Black Women Who Have Been Appointed to Dean Positions at Universities Across the United States

Here is this week’s roundup of African Americans who have been appointed to dean positions at universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to

PNC Partners With Howard University to Empower Black Entrepreneurship

The Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship aims to support and educate Black entrepreneurs from across the country. The collaborative initiative includes three other HBCU partners: Morgan State University, Clark Atlanta University, and Texas Southern University.

Saida Grundy Wins Race, Gender, and Class Book Award From the American Sociology Association

Dr. Grundy's book, Respectable: Politics and Paradox in Making the Morehouse Man, explores the culture and experiences of graduates from Morehouse College in Atlanta, the country's only historically Black college for men.

Featured Jobs