Online Program

Development of a structural measure of school racial climate

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Stephanie Baker, PhD, Health Behavior, UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, Raleigh, NC
Racial disparities in adolescent health and health behaviors occur for a variety of different outcomes. However, little is known about how context can shape youth health disparities. Schools are important contexts for adolescents and can influence their health behaviors. One characteristic of schools that may help to explain racial/ethnic health disparities is the school racial climate. The majority of measures of school racial climate are based on perceptions and those measures that are at the contextual level lack theoretical relevance. To fill this gap, I utilized Allport's Contact Theory to develop a structural measure of school racial climate based on school-level indicator variables. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used to create the measure. Cronbach's alpha was calculated to determine the reliability of the school racial climate measure and confirmatory factor analysis was employed to determine validity. Preliminary results suggest that school racial climate is both a reliable and valid measure and therefore may be a useful measure to use for subsequent analyses of adolescent health disparities.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the conceptual and analytical process involved in developing a structural measure of school racial climate.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities, School-Based Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This work represents part of my dissertation research. I conducted all data management, hypotheses development and testing, and analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.