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Citation:Gutman, L. M., & Midgley, C. (2000). The role of protective factors in supporting the academic achievement of poor African American students during the middle school transition. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 29(2), 223-249.

The purpose of this study is to examine the main and interactive effects of psychological, family, and school factors on low-income, African American students' grade point averages across their transition to middle school. Results indicated that all students, on the average, experienced a significant decline in grades over transition. However, students who felt more academic confidence across the transition had higher grade point averages than their classmates. Combinations of certain factors (a sense of school belonging, parent support, and perceived support from teachers) were positively correlated with grades. Subjects were 62 Michigan African American families living in poverty and were drawn from a larger longitudinal study conducted in the state. Families were interviewed and a variety of scales and measures were utilized. Both families and schools need to work together to ensure student success during transition to middle school.

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