Attitude and Behavior Developmental Task Term Paper

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" (Halpin and Burt, 1998) DuBois states: "The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife -- this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of White Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face. (DuBois, 1903)

The work of Pope (1998) conducted a study to make examination of the relationship between psychosocial development and racial identity of 250 Black traditional-aged and undergraduate students. The findings are stated to have offered support for the notion that racial identity influences psychosocial development; however, only the specific racial identity attitude, "Internalization," was predictive of the specific psychosocial development tasks of 'Establishing and Clarifying Purpose" and "Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships." The results from this study suggest that practitioners should be mindful of possible within group differences when applying student development theories to Black students." (Pope, 1998) Pope relates that in the 1960s and 1970s that development of students of color were ignored in the study of evolution of student development theories. According to Wright (1987) research and theoretical framework was found to be lacking in that: (1) the various models and theories of colleges student development did not take into account the culture-specific aspects of development, but assumed that all students (regardless of race or culture) experienced development phenomena in a similar fashion; (2) most theories of college student development were based on the assumption that growth occurs within a monolingual or noncultural environment when, in face, many students of color live and learn in bilingual or bicultural environments; (3) most theories did not take into account acculturation and assimilation of the students overall development, and thereby discarded the importance of adjusting to a campus environment that may differ from their cultural frame of reference, and finally, (4) that theories adherer to White values that may, in practice have been quite different from non-White value systems." (Pope, 1998) During the decade of the 1980s two aspects defined the changes that researchers and scholars has focused toward refining: (1) the student body was less White and male; (2) recognition of student subpopulations increased. Pope relates that: "Critics of student development theory, as it relates to students of color, have not necessarily suggested that the theories of college student development are not legitimate. Rather, this literature has suggested that current theories of student development may be insufficient in their explanation of growth and development of students of color." (Pope, 1998) the study reported by Pope (1998) involves 302 black undergraduate college students enrolled in 44 colleges and universities. Pope reports the use of three instruments in this study: (1) the Student Development Task and Lifestyle Inventory (SDTLI); (2) the Racial Identity Attitude ScaleB (RIAS-B) and (3) the Personal Data Form constructed specifically for the study reported by Pope (1998) the SDTLI is reported by Pope to have been designed to measure aspects of Chickering's (1969) theory of student development and that it was selected to measure patterns of psychosocial development. The 140-item SDTLI has made major revisions to SDTLI-2. The SDTLI is stated of Pope to consist of: "three developmental task areas: (1) Establishing and Clarifying Purpose; (2) Development Mature Interpersonal Relationships, and (3) Developing Academic Autonomy and three scales: (1) Intimacy; Salubrious Lifestyle; and (3) Response Bias. Two tasks have additional subtasks. The first task, Establishing and Clarifying Purpose is divided into five subtasks: (1) Educational Involvement, Career Planning, Lifestyle Planning, Life Management, and Cultural Participation. Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships is divided into three subtasks: Peer Relationships, Tolerance, and Educational Autonomy. Pope relates that: "Winston (1990) presented internal consistency reliability estimates for the tasks of the SDTLI on the basis of a sample of 1,200 undergraduate students. Reported estimates ranged from.45 to.90. All tasks and scales were.70 or higher, suggesting, according to Winston, that the tasks and scales are sufficiently homogeneous for research with groups of students. Henning-Stout (1992) reported that the validity of the SDTLI is also well established. Winston also reported that caution should be exercised in using some
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of the subtasks because of relatively low alpha coefficients for some subtasks (i.e., Cultural Participation, Tolerance, and Emotional Autonomy) and found the more reliable measures to be the total task scores. Hence, Winston suggested that the total task scores be used. " (Pope, 1998) the RIAS-B was created with a design to assess the attitudes associated with Black identity development and was originally based on the four-stage model of Cross (1977): (1) Preencounter; (2) Encounter; (3) immersion; and (4) Internalization" of psychological Nigrescence which is described as the psychology of becoming Black which has undergone extensive revision and expansion. This scale is consists of 50 items to which a response is given by participants using a Likert-type scale with scores ranging from strongly disagree = 1 to strongly agree = 5. Internal consistency reliability coefficients for the four scales were reported in the work of Helms (199) from.51 to.80 (n=175) Helms recommends the use of the scores on all four scales in describing an individual's racial identity attitude profile "rather than assignment to a single stage based on the highest score. Construct, content, and criterion validity studies generally have been supportive of the RIAS-B. The Personal Data form was utilized in gathering the demographic data of participants and academic status. Pope (1998) states findings that while some of the literature reviewed "suggested that racial identity may influence and perhaps even be predictive of the patterns of psychosocial development of students of color, the results of this study do not fully support that assertion. The results of this study do suggest a significant relationship between the broader constructs of Psychosocial Development and Racial Identity; however, only the specific Racial Identity attitude Internalization was predictive of the specific Psychosocial Development tasks of Establishing and Clarifying Purpose and to a lesser degree, Developing Mature Interpersonal Relationships." (Pope, 1998) Pope relates that while this study does provide support for the idea that racial identity has an influence on psychosocial development, the nature of that influence is not yet understood fully. Pope states that: "The other psychosocial task, Academic Autonomy, showed no significant relationship with racial identity; however, other authors such as Taub and McEwen (1991) and Branch-Simpson (1984) have identified important connections between that task and the developmental experiences of Black students. Clearly, therefore, further research is needed to understand this significant relationship better." (1998) Pope states that the findings in the study place emphasis on the need for further research in this area and that: "The paucity of research into the experiences and development of Black students indicates the importance of continuing this line of research. Additionally, conflicting findings in the literature demonstrate that more investigations of the influence of racial identity on psychosocial development are needed. Finally, further exploration of other cultural, experiential, or environmental constructs which may affect the psychosocial development of Black students is necessary.

The work of Bishop and Bishop (2007) states: "Human beings are social animals. An important share of our time and money is devoted to attracting favorable attention and the respect of others. We live, work and play in groups and care a great deal about what our associates think of us. Our behavior is shaped by how we anticipate others will react. Young people are particularly sensitive to these pressures. The evaluative reactions of our friends, coworkers, and neighbors are predictable because they are generally governed by the norms of our society, community, tribe, clique or work group. " Bishop and Bishop relate that school norms are learned from older members of the school crowd and "from school wide stereotypes that apply to the crowd. The current leadership of a crowd also often selects and grooms the next generation of leaders. Leadership typically goes to members who exemplify crow norms, show strong commitment to them and spend a great deal of time socializing with other members." (2007) Bishop and Bishop relate the work of Cusick (1973) who states: "It is simply not possible to be a sometime group member and expect to maintain any influence." (2007) it is important to note the critical role that 'role models' play in the lives of students. The work entitled: "The Institute of Politics Survey of Student Attitudes: A National Survey of College Undergraduates" reports findings that 80% African-American students in this survey report that political engagement is likely to be boosted by "respected celebrities, sports figures" and others in leadership positions. Social identity plays an important role in motivation of students and in…

Sources Used in Documents:


Alessandria, Kathryn P. And Nelson, Eileen S. (2005) Identity Development and Self-Esteem of First-Generation American College Students: An Exploratory Study. Project Muse January/February 2005 Vol. 46 No. 1 Online available at

ARMY ROTC: The John Hopkins University (nd) Training and Curriculum. Online available at

Astin, a.W. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308.

Astin, a.W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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