Effects of Desegregation on Achievement-Relevant Motivation

  • Lois Biener
  • Harold B. Gerard
Part of the Perspectives in Social Psychology book series (PSPS)


In spite of public acceptance of the democratic ideals of school desegregation, many citizens have expressed serious reservations about bussing. The one advantage that could possibly outweigh the costs, in the eyes of some critics, would be a significant improvement in the academic performance of the desegregated minority children. As indicated in Chapter 1 underlying the expectation of such an improvement has been the belief that through interracial contact minority children will develop the motivations and values that are presumed to be the necessary mediators of academic achievement. Included in the battery of instruments administered to our sample children were several measures designed to assess achievement motivation. These measures were included in order to provide data for detecting if, in fact, a change in values occurred and further to examine the relationships between change in values and change in achievement. In the initial sections of this chapter we will review the framework of reasoning and research that bears on our notions about motivation and school achievement and that underlies the expectation that desegregation can have a beneficial impact on minority children. The latter sections will discuss the measures in some detail and present a summary of our findings.


Black Child Achievement Motivation Achievement Score Minority Child School Desegregation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allport, G. W. The nature of prejudice. Cambridge, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1954.Google Scholar
  2. Armor, D. J. The evidence on bussing. The Public Interest, 1972, 28, 90–126.Google Scholar
  3. Atkinson, J. W., & Feather, N. T. (Eds.), A theory of achievement motivation. New York: John Wiley, 1966.Google Scholar
  4. Ausubet, D. P., & Ausubel, P. Ego development among segregated Negro children. In A. H. Passow (Ed.), Education in depressed areas. New York: Teachers College, 1963.Google Scholar
  5. Bandura, A., & Mischel, W. Modification of self-imposed delay of reward through exposure to live and symbolic models. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1965, 2, 698–705.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bettleheim, B. Review of B. S. Bloom’s Stability and change in human characteristics. New York Review of Books, September 10, 1964, 3, 1–4.Google Scholar
  7. Bialer, I. Conceptualization of success and failure in mentally retarded and normal children. Journal of Personality, 1961, 29, 303–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boyd, G. F. The levels of aspiration of White and Negro children in a non-segregated school. Journal of Social Psychology, 1952, 36, 191–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carrigan, P. M. School desegregation via compulsory pupil transfer: Early effects on elementary school children. Unpublished mimeo. Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1969.Google Scholar
  10. Clark, K. B. Dark ghetto. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.Google Scholar
  11. Coleman, J. S., & staff. Equality of educational opportunity. U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966.Google Scholar
  12. Crandall, V. J., Katkovsky, W., & Preston, A. Motivation and ability determinants of young children’s intellectual achievement behaviors. Child Development, 1962, 33, 643–661.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davidson, J. J., & Lang, G. Children’s perceptions of their teachers’ feelings toward them related to self-perception, school achievement, and behavior. Journal of Experimental Education, 1968, 29, 107–118.Google Scholar
  14. Deutsch, M., & Collins, M. Interracial housing: A psychological evaluation of a social experiment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1951.Google Scholar
  15. Gerard, H. B. The anchorage of opinions in face-to-face groups. Human Relations, 1954, 7, 313–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gottlieb, D. Teaching and students: The view of Negro and White teachers. In S. W. Webster (Ed.), The disadvantaged learner. San Francisco: Chandler, 1966.Google Scholar
  17. Hunt, J. McV. The psychological basis for preschool cultural enrichment programs. In M. Deutsch, I. Katz, & A. Jensen (Eds.), Social class, race, and psychological development. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968.Google Scholar
  18. Jessor, R., Graves, T. D., Hanson, R. D., & Jessor, S. R. Society, personality, and deviant behavior. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968.Google Scholar
  19. Katz, I. Socialization of academic motivation. In D. Levine (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1967.Google Scholar
  20. Kelley, H. H. Two functions of reference groups. In G. E. Swanson, T. M. Newcomb, & E. L. Hartley (Eds.), Reading in social psychology, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1952.Google Scholar
  21. Maitland, S. D. Time perspective, frustration-failure and delay of gratification in middle-class and lower-class children from organized and disorganized families. Dissertation Abstracts, 1967, 27 (10), 3676–3677.Google Scholar
  22. McClelland, D. C. The achieving society. Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand, 1961.Google Scholar
  23. McClelland, D. C., Atkinson, J. W., Clark, R. A., & Lowell, E. L. The achievement motive. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Merton, R. K. The self-fulfilling prophecy. The Antioch Review, 1948, 8, 193–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mischel, W. Delay of gratification, need for achievement, and acquiescence in another culture. Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 1961, 62, 543–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mischel, W. Theory and research on the antecedents of self-imposed delay of reward. In B. A Maher (Ed.), Progress in experimental personality research, Vol. 3. New York: Academic Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  27. Mischel, W. Personality and assessment. New York: Wiley, 1968.Google Scholar
  28. Mischel, W., & Metzner, R. Preference for delayed reward as a function of age, intelligence, and length of delay interval. Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 1962, 64, 425–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moss, H. A., & Kagan, J. Stability of achievement and recognition seeking behaviors from early childhood through adulthood. Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 1961, 62, 504–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Newcomb, T. M. Attitude development as a function of reference groups: The Ben-nington study. In G. E. Swanson, T. M. Newcomb, & E. L. Hartley (Eds.), Reading in social psychology. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1952.Google Scholar
  31. Pettigrew, T. F. The Negro and education. In I. Katz & P. Gurin (Eds.), Social science and race relations. New York: Basic Books, 1969.Google Scholar
  32. Pettigrew, T. F., Unseem, E. L., Normand, C. and Smith, M. S. Busing: A review of “The Evidence.” The Public Interest, 1973, 30, 88–115.Google Scholar
  33. Proshansky, H., & Newton, P. The nature and meaning of Negro self-identity. In M. Deutsch, I. Katz & A. Jensen (Eds.), Social class, race, and psychological development. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968.Google Scholar
  34. Rotter, J. B., Seeman, M., & Liverant, S. Internal vs. external control of reinforcement: A major variable in behavior theory. In N. F. Washburne (Ed.), Decisions, values, and groups, Vol. 2. London: Pergamon Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  35. Siegel, A. E., & Siegel, S. Reference groups, membership groups, and attitude change. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1957, 55, 360–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Smith, C. P. The origin and expression of achievement-related motives in children. In C. P. Smith (Ed.), Achievement-related motives in children. New York: Russel Sage Foundation, 1969.Google Scholar
  37. Stouffer, S. A., The American soldier. Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 1949.Google Scholar
  38. Strickland, B. R. Aspiration responses among Negro and White adolescents. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1971, 19, 315–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Veroff, J., & Peele, S. Initial effects of desegregation on the achievement motivation of Negro elementary school children. Journal of Social Issues, 1969, 25, 71–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Weiner, B., & Kukla, A. An attributional analysis of achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1970, 15, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Winer, B. J. Statistical principles in experimental design (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971.Google Scholar
  42. Zytkoskee, A., Strickland, B. R., & Watson, J. Delay of gratification and internal versus external control among adolescents of low socioeconomic status. Developmental Psychology, 1971, 4, 93–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lois Biener
    • 1
  • Harold B. Gerard
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MassachusettsBostonUSA
  2. 2.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations