CitationGraves, Scott L. & Wang, Yixi (2022). It’s Not That They Are Big, It’s Just That They Are Black: The Impact of Body Mass Index, School Belonging, and Self Esteem on Black Boys’ School Suspension. School Psychology Review. pp. 1-13
AbstractThe suspension of Black boys from school is a longstanding issue that places them at increased risk for negative academic and social-emotional outcomes. While risk factors for suspension are often documented, concurrently examining protective factors such as school belonging and self-esteem occurs infrequently. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between Body Mass Index (BMI), school belonging, self-esteem, race, gender, and school suspension. Results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) indicated that BMI was a significant predictor of school suspension overall, but not for Black boys. Furthermore our hypotheses were not supported in that regardless of the levels of school belonging for Black boys, their levels of school suspension were not impacted as was the case with their peers. So it was not that they were big, just that they were Black as it relates to school suspension and Black boys. Implications are discussed in terms of the improving outcomes of Black boys.
Black boys are suspended from school at higher rates than any group. Large body size is thought to be a risk factor for negative outcomes based on societal perceptions. For Black boys, body mass index does not predict school suspension.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleSchool Psychology Review
Author(s)Graves, Scott L.