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Mental Health and Discipline Through the Eyes of Educators

Carly Chadd, Courtney Conway, and Dr. Bianca Basten, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, 1725 State Street, La Crosse, WI 54601

Our research examines the impact of implicit biases in teachers and the effect of student race on teachers’ perceptions of challenging behaviors and mental health symptoms. Although Black citizens comprise only 13% of the United States population (United States Census Bureau, 2010), observations from numerous schools of varying grade levels found that Black students received 37% of in school suspensions and 43% of out of school suspensions (Sturgess, 2011). Additionally, Black students are less likely than White students to be referred to mental health professionals for internalizing mental health concerns (Alegría et. al., 2012). We will be using a change blindness paradigm to test where teachers’ attention is focused and whether implicit biases are affecting their interpretation of a classroom scene. Using a within-subjects research design, participants will be exposed to various images of children of different races in a classroom setting. The images will “flicker” between two versions of the same image, with a small change occurring in one part of the image. Participants will receive either concrete prompts or abstract prompts . Abstract prompts will either be consistent or inconsistent with common stereotypes toward Black students. We have created our stimuli and set up a Qualtrics survey for online data collection. Data collection will begin in early November, and is expected to conclude by February at the latest. Data will be analyzed using a within-subjects ANOVA with type of prompt (concrete vs abstract) and consistency of prompt (consistent/helpful vs inconsistent/hindering) as the two within-subjects factors. We expect that accuracy and reaction times for detecting the change in the scene will be better if a helpful specific prompt is provided and if an abstract prompt is consistent with an existing stereotype. On the flipside, we expect reaction time and accuracy to suffer when the opposite is true.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Courtney Conway, Carly Chadd

Institution: University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 11
Date/Time: Wed 3:00pm-4:00pm
Session Number: 7107