Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Keisha Love


Previous literature has evidenced that young African American males are experiencing less academic success than their Caucasian male and African American female counterparts (Davis, Williams, & Williams, 2004; Flores, 2007). The deceleration of achievement in this population has spawned some inquiry into the struggles of African American students. However, investigators have primarily examined differences in sex, school attributes, socioeconomic status, family structure, and other external factors. Previous research has also highlighted the unique obstacles young African American men face in education settings. While researchers have identified several external predictors of academic achievement among African American males, scant information relates to identity factors outside of racial identity that correlate to and help predict academic achievement. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the influence of identity components (racial identity, masculinity, and academic self-concept) on the academic achievement of young African American male high school students. The data used for this study were archival and obtained from an umbrella project entitled the African American Males in Education Project A.A.M.P.E.D. Participants were recruited from a predominately African American High School located in the Southeastern U.S. There were 156 participants, all of which were African American males between the ages of 13-19. The findings from the current study can be summarized in three key points (a) the independent variables (academic self-concept, racial identity, and masculinity) were each significantly correlated to GPA, (b) the combination of the aforementioned identity factors significantly predicted GPA, and (c) no moderation or mediation effects were present in regards to the relationship between racial identity and GPA. Specifically, the findings suggested that following the control variable of parental education level, masculinity is the largest contributor in predicting GPA. Results also highlighted new findings regarding the unique and changing relationship of young African American males and academic self-concept. The current findings raised crucial questions about the inclusion of this population in research and future study. In conclusion, results from this study support the need for further research using identity factors in reference to the academic outcomes of young African American male students.