Cultural models of education and academic performance for Native American and European American students

Stephanie A. Fryberg, Rebecca Covarrubias, Jacob A. Burack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the role of cultural representations of self (i.e., interdependence and independence) and positive relationships (i.e., trust for teachers) in academic performance (i.e., self-reported grades) for Native American (N = 41) and European American (N = 49) high school students. The Native American students endorsed marginally more interdependent representation of self and marginally less trust for teachers than did the European American students. While interdependent representations of self and trust for teachers were positively related for the Native American students, neither cultural representations of self were related to trust for teachers for the European American students. However, with respect to academic performance, interdependent representations of self and trust for teachers were positively related to academic performance for the Native American students. Conversely, independent and interdependent representations of self were positively related to academic performance for the European American students, but trust for teachers was not associated with academic performance. Finally, as predicted, culturally congruent representations of self predicted academic performance. Specifically, trust for teachers and interdependent representations of self positively predicted academic performance for Native American students, whereas only independent representations of self predicted academic performance for European American students. Implications for culturally congruent models of education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-452
Number of pages14
JournalSchool Psychology International
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Academic performance
  • Native American
  • culture
  • social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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