The failure of general self-esteem: Self-esteem's aggravating affect on racial discrimination's relation to achievement

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Psychological research and popular culture have repeatedly noted that general self-esteem is a positive contributor to well-being and performance indicators across a large variety of domains including education. However, whilst increased self-esteem may have a positive influence on educational outcomes, increasing evidence suggests that perceptions of racial discrimination may also have a negative impact on these outcomes. The current investigation used a variety of structural equation modelling techniques to examine the potential impact of Indigenous Australian students’ general self-esteem and perceptions of racial discrimination upon performance on standardised spelling and math achievement measures. The results indicated that general selfesteem did not impact on Indigenous students’ performance, however, perceived racial discrimination impacted significantly and negatively on performance. In addition, a moderating analysis demonstrated that Indigenous students with a higher general self-esteem were more susceptible to the negative impact of racial discrimination than those with low self-esteem.

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Open Access Conference Paper

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Open Access