Effects of Implicit Bias on Children's Early Outcomes

two preschool children in a Kansas City Educare classroom playing with a pop up toy

The purpose of this project is to examine the relationship between implicit bias, teacher expectations, teacher–child interactions and child outcomes. There are disparities in child discipline and development that can manifest early for poor and/or minority children and can have lasting consequences.

Previous research has shown that teachers demonstrate implicit preferences towards White versus minority students. Self-fulfilling prophecies and teachers' lower expectations of children can start early in a child's school experience and negatively impact children, in particular racial/ethnic minorities. Identifying malleable factors that contribute to these disparities may inform teacher professional development, reduce education disparities, and improve student outcomes.

Researchers will describe: 1) associations between the malleable factors of teachers' implicit biases, teacher expectations, teacher–child interactions, and child outcomes; (2) how race/ethnicity and the mismatch between teachers and children moderate the relationship between teachers' implicit biases and child outcomes; and (3) the cumulative effects of implicit bias on child outcomes.

Project details

  • Primary Investigator: Brian Boyd

  • Project start Date: 07/01/2019

  • Project finish Date: 06/30/2022



  • US Department of Education

  • Award Number: R305A190199