Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Education

Degree Name


Counseling and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Smothers


This study analyzes the effects family, race, sex and involvement in the Irvington Peer Leadership program have on the development of self-concept and academic achievement in African-American youth in the city of Irvington, New Jersey. Students were asked to complete a preliminary survey to obtain background information on their family, the educational background of their parents and their views of the peer program that they were involved in. The Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale was used to measure the selfconcept of students and Math and English grades were used to measure academic achievement. Results were analyzed in terms of five hypotheses and it was found that GPA and sex had no bearing on self-concept. Family type and participation in the Peer Programs had a significant effect on the self-concept on the youth. These results are significant to the future planning and programming of more programs that address urban African-American youth. Further study is needed to broaden the study of self-concept, academic achievement and peer programs in other environments.

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