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Bowen et al., 2013: Affirming values increases academic performance among low-income middle school students


Bowen, N. K., Wegmann, K. M., & Webber, K. C. (2013). Enhancing a brief writing intervention to combat stereotype threat among middle-school students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), 427.
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Extending Cohen et al., 2006, 2009, a values-affirmation intervention was delivered to 6th-, 7th-, and 8th- grade students in a middle school that served a predominantly low-income and African American and Latino student body. The exercise was completed in homeroom classrooms two weeks before the end of the first marking period. The intervention forestalled a negative slope in social studies grades over the school year. In addition, homeroom teachers were randomized to read students’ essays or not. When teachers read students’ values-affirmation essays, as compared to both when they did not values-affirmation essays and when they read students’ control essays, students earned higher social studies grades over the year.

Psychological Process:

Psychological Process 2:

What is the Person Trying to Understand?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

To Feel Connected, Included, Respected, and Valued by Others

What About it?

Approach to Desired Meaning

Approach to Desired Meaning

Link Belonging to a Behavior or Attitude to Motivate Positive Change

Psychological Question Addressed

Psychological Question Addressed

Am I connected with important people in school or work settings?

Psychological Process 3:


What Desired Meaning is At Stake?

Approach to Desired Meaning


Psychological Question Addressed

Social Area:

Intervention Technique:

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Walton & Wilson, 2018