Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Walter L. Frazier


Poverty, crime, and the need for public assistance are associated with dropping out of high school in the United States. African American adolescents have a higher dropout rate than their White peers, especially in the rural south. Moreover, racial discrimination toward African American adolescents is more prevalent in the rural south compared with the urban areas of United States. Academic self-perception and experienced racial discrimination are probable factors that influence African American adolescents to leave school before they graduate. This study was conducted to determine a relationship between the combination of rural African American adolescent’s academic self-perception as measured by Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents and experienced racial discrimination as measured by Adolescent Discrimination Distress Index and its association with academic performance measured by grade point average. A total of 106 African American adolescents (age 14-17 years = 65.1% and Grade Level 12 = 36.8%) who lived in rural communities of the northwestern region of the Mississippi Delta were surveyed, and grade point average data were collected. A multiple regression analysis was run for this study using enter data entry. The results indicated that academic self-perception contributes to academic performance for this sample. In contrast, experienced racial discrimination was not a significant predictor of academic performance for this sample. Implications of the findings relate to how academic self-perception will bring about positive social change by school counselors and mental health school-based therapists identifying ways to increase academic self-perception. This will be a small step towards a safer and productive society.