Multilevel Exploration of Factors Contributing to the Overrepresentation of Black Students in Office Disciplinary Referrals

Catherine P. Bradshaw, Mary M. Mitchell, Lindsey M. O'Brennan, Philip J. Leaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although there is increasing awareness of the overrepresentation of ethic minority students-particularly Black students-in disciplinary actions, the extant research has rarely empirically examined potential factors that may contribute to these disparities. The current study used a multilevel modeling approach to examine factors at the child (e.g., teacher-rated disruptive behavior problems) and classroom or teacher levels (e.g., teacher ethnicity, level of disruptive behavior in classroom) that may contribute to the overrepresentation of minority students in office disciplinary referrals (ODRs). Data come from 6,988 children in 381 classrooms at 21 elementary schools. The analyses indicated that even after controlling for the student's level of teacher-rated behavior problems, teacher ethnicity, and other classroom factors, Black students were significantly more likely than White students to receive ODRs. Results also suggested that ethnic match between students and their teachers did not reduce the risk for referrals among Black students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-520
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume102
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • Behavior problems
  • Black
  • Multilevel modeling
  • Office discipline referrals
  • Teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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