Measures and References: Stereotype Threat

Return to Stereotype Threat factor page.


Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

Diagnostic Comparisons: Stereotype threat is typically measured by comparing a group of students vulnerable to Stereotype Threat, who take a reading or writing test and are told the test is diagnostic of their reading or writing abilities, to a group of students who are also vulnerable to Stereotype Threat and are told the test is non-diagnostic. If students in the "non-threat" group perform better than the students in the "threat" group this is evidence that Stereotype Threat has negatively influenced performance.

Stereotype-Consciousness Interview (McKown & Strambler, 2009): The interview measures students' knowledge of cultural stereotypes which can affect their susceptibility to stereotype threat effects.


Barrie, R. E., Langrehr, K., Jeremie-Brink, G., Alder, N., Hewitt, A., & Thomas, A. (2016). Stereotypical beliefs and psychological well-being of African American adolescent girls: Collective self-esteem as a moderator. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 29(4), 423-442.

Beilock, S. L., Rydell, R. J., & McConnell, A. R. (2007). Stereotype threat and working memory: Mechanisms, alleviation, and spillover. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136(2), 256-276.

Hartley, B. L., & Sutton, R. M. (2013). A stereotype threat account of boys' academic underachievement. Child Development, 84(5), 1716-1733.

McKown, C., & Strambler, M. J. (2009). Developmental antecedents and social and academic consequences of stereotype‐consciousness in middle childhood. Child Development, 80(6), 1643-1659.

McKown, C., & Weinstein, R. S. (2003). The development and consequences of stereotype consciousness in middle childhood. Child Development, 74(2), 498-515.

Muntoni, F., Wagner, J., & Retelsdorf, J., (2020). Beware of stereotypes: Are classmates' stereotypes associated with students' reading outcomes? Child Development

Schmader, T., Johns, M., & Forbes, C. (2008). An integrated process model of stereotype threat effects on performance. Psychological Review, 115(2), 336-356.

The Education Trust. (August, 2020). Social, emotional, and academic development through an equity lens. Washington, DC.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2014). Stereotype threat effects on African American children in an urban elementary school. The Journal of Experimental Education, 82(4), 502-517.

Wasserberg, M. J. (2017). High-achieving African American elementary students' perspectives on standardized testing and stereotypes. The Journal of Negro Education, 86(1), 40-51.

Wegmann, K. M. (2017). "His skin doesn't match what he wants to do": Children's perceptions of stereotype threat. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 87(6), 615-625.