Examining academic success among African American high school students

Natasha Murray, Xin Ma, Kenneth Tyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We aimed to identify individual (family) and school protective factors that are critical to academic success among African American students, using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. A total of 2020 African American students in 463 schools from the Educational Longitudinal Study provided data. We developed a multilevel logistic model (students nested within schools) to predict the probability of academic success based on variables at the student and school levels. The probability was 11% for the nationally typical African American student. At the student level, the effects of socioeconomic status on academic success were stronger for students with lower peer academic commitment, and we identified school involvement, teacher expectation, and time spent on homework as protective factors that increased the probability of academic success. At the school level, we identified one protective factor of academic climate and found that strong school remediation effort tended to signal schools where academic success was lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-381
Number of pages20
JournalEducational Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Academic success
  • African American students
  • assessment
  • multilevel modelling
  • protective factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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