Date of Award

May 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Urban Education

First Advisor

Markeda Newell

Committee Members

Shannon Chavez-Korell, Susan Lamborn, Cynthia Walker, Bonnie Klein-Tasman


Affective Engagement, Behavioral Engagement, Racial Identity, School Engagement


The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to examine whether affective school engagement predicted behavioral school engagement among Black high school students and 2) to examine whether Black racial identity attitudes moderated the relationship between affective engagement and behavioral engagement. School connectedness and perceived school support were used as indicators of affective school engagement, and school attendance was used as an indicator for behavioral engagement. A total of 272 students in grades 9-12 were recruited for this study, and 105 of these students self-reported as Black, Biracial, or Multiracial. The results of regression analyses showed that school connectedness and perceived school support significantly predicted 10% of the variance in self-reported attendance for all participants and 11% of the variance for Black participants. A moderated multiple regression analysis examining racial identity attitudes as a moderator was not significant; however, self-hating attitudes showed a small and significant correlation with feelings of rejection and peer support, and multiculturalist attitudes showed small and significant correlation with feelings of teacher support. Finally, a MANCOVA was conducted to examine whether racial identity attitudes differed based on age. The results of the MANCOVA indicated that participants ages 18-21 reported stronger beliefs of self-hating attitudes compared to younger age groups. Further analysis discovered that participants ages 18-21 were mostly enrolled in an alternative high school for students who had previously dropped out of school or were at high risk of not completing. Overall, the results of the study reveal that affective engagement has a significant relationship with behavioral engagement and supports previous studies with similar findings. However, while this study reveals that Black students' racial identity attitudes may differ due to age, more research is needed to study the influence of racial identity attitudes on school engagement.