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Durham, J.I. (2012). Examining the Achievement Gap with a Psychodynamic Lens: Implications for Practice. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 11(3):217-228.

(2012). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 11(3):217-228

Examining the Achievement Gap with a Psychodynamic Lens: Implications for Practice

Jennifer I. Durham

It is not uncommon for clinicians to receive referrals for children and adolescents who are framed within the context of schooling. This phenomenon is amplified for African American and Latino clients due to the existence of a significant gap in performance and discipline referrals between White students and their peers of color (Aspen, 2005; Darling-Hammond, 2010; Ladson Billings, 2006). Commonly known as the achievement gap, this phenomenon has significant societal and clinical implications. Unfortunately there is a paucity of literature regarding the role of psychologists in general and those practicing psychodynamically in particular with respect to helping to close this gap. It is imperative that psychologists with an understanding of psychodynamic principles and practices be a part of the solution. Driven by the need for a more comprehensive approach to the achievement gap that incorporates psychological and psychodynamic principles, a case example is used to address the achievement gap and suggest clinical and systems based interventions based on psychodynamic constructs.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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