Prejudice Harms Kid's Emotional Wellness: How Schools Can Help - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1754 Words
Date:  2023-02-07


When children are unequally handled and maltreated against who they are, this could harm their emotional wellness, self-esteem, lives expectancy, and academic achievement. Schools need to know who could be at danger of discrimination, what to do to minimize discrimination, and how to buffer and help kids and relatives at threat of bias. Prejudice is an unfair treatment of an individual because of who they are or because they have certain traits (Wofford, Defever, & Chopik, 2017). The features are age, race (including colour, nationality, racial or regional background), sex, relationship, faith, sex, and social status.

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Discrimination can be either immediate or indirect. Direct discrimination happens when, due to one of these protected features, a kid is handled differently (at school or in their society). Indirect discrimination occurs if a child is dealt with like other students, but because of who they are, it harms that kid. So, for instance, if a class rule is implemented to everyone in the same manner, but it disadvantages a disabled student (Crosnoe & Fuligni, 2012). A significant risk factor for adverse mental health is exposure to continuing discrimination. Children who are discriminated against will be impacted in various respects. How they respond will be affected by a variety of other variables including their confidence in seeking assistance, the assistance they obtain, the number of other danger variables they encounter, and their capacity to be adaptable (rollover) and push forward.

The purpose of this research is to find the psychological effect of discrimination on children. The impact of discrimination and prejudice and self-esteem will be analyzed based on responses given in a survey. The null hypothesis developed for this research is that discrimination and prejudice do not affect self-esteem. The social identity perspective theory developed by Henri Tajfel creates a viable framework that delves into how children react to discrimination and bias in their environments. Tajfel (1979) suggested that the groups to which individuals referred (e.g., economic status, household, soccer group, etc.) were a significant cause of loyalty and self-esteem. Groups offer us a feeling of cultural identity: a sense of social reality affiliation. In this manner, children being risk groups to discriminatory constraints in an environment, they have adverse reactions to any form of prejudice.

Literature Review

A variety of psychological studies demonstrates that stress can be exacerbated by discrimination. Also, discrimination-related stress is related to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, even in children (Xu, 2017). The American Psychological Association (APA) notes the correlation between prejudice and stress and the subsequent effects on friendships, jobs, and general wellness in this year's study of the state of stress in America.

A study by the University of California (2018) found that as early as seven years old, children are vulnerable to and endure the effects of discrimination. Previous trials have shown that at that point, kids can define racism, but the research is the first to explore the impacts on kids under the age of 10. The study also demonstrates that an essential buffer against such adverse effects is a powerful feeling of socio-racial identification. These results underline the significance of decreasing prejudice together with its harmful impacts, as well as encouraging a symbolic logic of ethnic-racial identification and relating in the future to partly buffering kids.

Adair (2015) reviewed the effect that discrimination had on early childhood experiences for children from immigrant families in the United States. This study provides critical insight into the way that discrimination affects risk groups such as immigrant children and how they react to changes in the learning experiences over time. This study routes the kinds of private and institutional discrimination experienced by young immigrant kids at school and the effects of prejudice on kids, their relatives, and colleges. It starts by explaining how premature-year perception can influence the growth, educational achievement, and subsequent flexibility of a child. The study then describes forms of discrimination that can be experienced at college by young immigrant kids. This study found that a lack of meaningful interaction about immigrant communities about discrimination is a critical factor that promotes the activity in children and school environments. Additionally, there is inadequate access to learning material that teaches children about discrimination both in homes and schools.

Patcher, Bernstein, Szalacha, and Garcia Coll (2010) state that through various processes, including impacts on psychological and physical well-being, racism can contribute to lousy fitness and health care disparities in minority kids. There is little knowledge of the racism feelings kids experience in their life. This research discusses apparent racism occurring in kids regarding the environments and situations that it happens. Two hundred and seventy kids completed the questionnaire; 88% of kids had at least one incident of ethnic discrimination, and 11.6% had encountered violence in at least quarter (12) of the 23 cases discussed in the questionnaire. School and social environments were included in the settings, and both colleagues and teenagers were viewed as offenders. There were few distinctions between distinct ethnocultural minority organizations in views of racial events. Racism is seen as a prevalent event in the life of many minority children. Studies need to be undertaken that investigate racism views and how they connect to health disparities.

Some of the gaps in the literature involving discrimination in children are the lack of coherence in the levels of evidence that prove the existence of discrimination in children (Breen, 2006). The effect of regional and class differences on these results is not always included in the studies involving discrimination in children. Moreover, less input is directed into the review of the effectiveness of policies and programs to manage discrimination among children in various regions of the world.


The method for data collection chosen for this research was interviewing. The participants for the study were children aged between 5 and ten years from schools around the United States. A total of 50 children were sampled based on their social backgrounds. In this context, the sampled participants were differentiated based on their gender, race, and economic history. This allowed the researchers to capture a more diverse effect of discrimination and how each of these children reacted to different instances of the same. The interview questions were simple and tailored to match the level of education of the participants. Based on the participant's ability to answer the questions, the effort was put in ensuring that the answers provided were clear and concise. The researcher designed a five-minute interview that was meant to ask each of these selected children their experiences with discrimination and how they were affected by those experiences.

A qualitative approach to data collection was used for this research. This is because this approach ensures that every critical aspect of the participant's feelings and emotions towards the subject is well presented. All of the participants were briefed of the requirements of the research, and little complication existed in the answering or delivery of questions to the children. All the data was collected and analyzed. Descriptive statistics were analyzed for the data.

It was found that 81.23% of all the participants that had experienced a form of discrimination in their life in school had instances of low self-esteem linked to those specific events. Moreover, black children are more likely to be involved in cases of discrimination as compared to their white counterparts. There was no significant difference in performance between different groups of children, although it was noted that some of the minority groups such as immigrant children had slightly less performance as compared to other groups in the study.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Probably the most significant environment for kids to study and grow is the household. Schools act as another considerable impact by being the first link of children to the internal environment and the location where they devote most of their time. School is the primary location where teenage kids have close, regular interaction with adolescents except household groups or employees of the wider society attempting to educate them. This internal macro-environment includes the factors and buildings that kids find outside their homes. Prejudice can have primarily adverse consequences for the growth of the feeling of personality and group identity of teenage children. Kids rationalize unwanted opinions of themselves when individuals around kids express distaste for their presence, language, or social beliefs. Discrimination in the early years, when kids are building a feeling of ego, is especially detrimental.

There is proof that the manner kids have handled during early education influences their subsequent conduct and academic progress. Kids who obtain negative reacts and stimuli in learning environments may be less probable to attain educational achievement, finish college, and eventually exceed the financial situation of their relatives. The slight difference in performance found in this research is an excellent example of this context of discrimination and its effects on children. Kids in small-income groups, including immigrant children, frequently have fewer knowledge prospects than their peers with higher incomes (Crosnoe & Fuligni, 2012). Schools supporting low-income groups usually experience asset limitations and provide more stringent, less favourable instructional environments. Narrow teaching environments can include kids being requested to settle down for cognitively irregular periods of the moment and to share sentences and content with teachers who may sometimes be irrelevant to their growth.

Children most often consider their colleagues to be discriminated against. It is essential to examine how such views are influenced by the classroom framework when assessing attitudes of discrimination among kids and teenagers (Breen, 2006). This background involves the school's cultural structure, as well as the specific and indirect methods administrators and educators, view variety, encourage multiculturalism, and implement strategies against harassment. Results from the study found that children that are discriminated often end up with low self-esteem. This low self-esteem has adverse effects on how a child perceives and reacts to classroom factors.

If a kid has low self-esteem, she is unlikely to be familiar with fresh individuals or circumstances. She may feel uncomfortable if this is the situation and try to prevent anything new. She will often hesitate to bring hazards or shift away from her comfort zone. With this sort of conduct, the kid may lose precious educational possibilities and circumstances where from a newfound knowledge she may study and develop (Xu, 2017). This will significantly affect their ability to grow holistically. To manage this discrimination, children should be educated on the effects of discrimination on their peers and how this deters the classroom environment. They should be able to understand that group identity is not a source of misunderstanding hence desist from implying or using any identification to spread negativity.


Adair, J. K. (2015). The Impact of Discrimination on the...

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