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African American Female's Self-Concept and Motivation in College: A Case Study

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Melody Jin

on 18 July 2013

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Transcript of African American Female's Self-Concept and Motivation in College: A Case Study

African American Females' Self-Concept and Motivation in College: A Case Study
Yu Jin (Melody)
PSED 516 Learner and Learning Process
Spring 2013

Case Study Subject:
Ms. Lyesha Fleming
Lyesha and the author at the Liberty Bell
in Philadelphia.
Senior student at East Stroudsburg University.
Psychology & Sociology Dual Major, Minor in Political Science.
African American female.
Came to know the author through the ESU Buddy Program.
Born into a foster care center in Philadelphia, was adopted by her caregiver at five years old
Has three siblings: a twin sister, two younger brothers.
Overall Presentation Structure
The Theory of Self-concept and Its Applicability
The Theory of Motivation and Its Applicability
The Author's Self-reflection
Self-Concept Theory and Its Applicability
Self-concept and Achievement
Self-concept is individual’s cognitive assessment of their physical, social and academic competence. (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010)
The relationship between achievement and academic self-concept is more robust, and they are interdependent. Each can lead to an increase in the other. (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010)
Academics make Lyesha a better student and she wants to become more competitve socially and physically due to her academic success.
Self-Concept and Social Environment
More recent research suggests that African American children who grow up in warm and supportive environments, both at home and school, actually possess higher levels of self-esteem than their Caucasian American counterparts. (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010)
Lyesha told me that her mom molded her into a positive person and that it was important for her to surround herself among the positive people who excel at school. She believed that the social environment she is in has a big role to play in her success. “You are who you hang around.” says Lyesha.
Self-concept and Ethnic Identity
Ethnic Identity refers to an awareness of ethnic group membership and a commitment to the values and behaviors of that group. (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010)
Lyesha develops her ethnic identity and has a strong commitment and high evaluation of her ethnicity. She said she wanted to represent her race to the fullest so that it will never be negative again. African Americans have always been looked down upon or as not intelligent. She wants to prove herself as a successful African American female. Not every African American was involved in drug dealing or crime; they were just at the wrong place at a wrong time.
Motivation Theory and Its Applicability
Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation
Lyesha admitted to me that she had both extrinsic and intrinsic motivations towards almost all of her classes. She wanted to learn more about her major and to have decent grades at the same time.
In general motivated students
have positive attitudes toward school and describe school as satisfying.
persist on difficult tasks and cause few management problems.
process information in depth and excel in classroom learning experiences. (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010)

Lyesha displays all of the above qualities as a motivated African American female.
Motivation and Social Environment
Other research using objective measurement of neighborhood quality (Furr-Holden et al. 2008) showed children who reside in impoverished neighborhoods are more likely to experience delays in school readiness, leave school prior to graduation, and develop behavioral problems (Leventhal and Brooks-Gunn 2004; Sampson 2001).
Lyesha treats her mom as her role model and aspires to be a woman like her mom. Her mom always tells her, “I want more from you. Don’t accept OK when you can be excellent.” It is this high expectation from her mom that makes Lyesha the person she is today. Her motivation mainly comes from her belief that she want to make her mom proud and never to disappoint her.
The Influence of Interest and Emotion
She has a personal interest in Africa, where mostly her political science classes have been focusing on. As for situational interest, Lyesha told me that she loved all her psychology classes, because many of her professors have real working experiences in the field of psychology
Even if Lyesha will not admit that she has any anxiety, it is obvious that she has the feeling of fear, which is the major cause of anxiety. The author attributes this to her over motivated mindset which will not allow her to have any negative feelings. Therefore, the anxious emotion does have impacted Lyesha’s learning. However, the impact is in a good way, which motivates her to do even better.
Lyesha at President Obama's Inauguration
Yu Jin at President Research SYmposium
What I learned from Lyesha and about African Americans....
Lyesha and I shared a lot of similar personalities. We are both motivated and hard working. We surround ourselves among positive people. We both treat our moms as role models and want to make them proud. It is a universal principle that every cultural group has their inspiration and they all can work hard to achieve their dreams
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