Community Science Associate, Jessika Bottiani, Ph.D., M.P.H., participated on a panel at the 2015 Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting on March 19-21 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The panel explored the benefits and challenges of racial and ethnic heterogeneity and diversity and same-race peer representation in schools, with a focus on boys of color. Other panelists included faculty from the University of Virginia and the University of California, Los Angeles.
About 60 conference participants attended the session. Dr. Bottiani’s presentation highlighted a study which examined the association between school racial/ethnic diversity and differences in Black and White adolescent boys’ experiences of supportive school climate in rural and suburban high schools in Maryland. Results indicated that higher school diversity and the greater presence of same-race (Black) peers were related to reduced gaps between Black and White males’ perceptions of a supportive school climate. Participants discussed the benefits and challenges associated with school diversity.