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Nationally, black girls are suspended more than five times as often white girls, and black girls are 2.7 times more likely to be referred to the juvenile justice system than their white peers. “The new research supports our earlier hypothesis that adultification bias is a major contributor to these disciplinary disparities,” Blake said.

When asked for suggestions to help overcome adultification bias against black girls, focus group participants said they hoped that the awareness raised by the Center’s research would lead to meaningful action to decrease this bias, and emphasized that targeted training for teachers and other authority figures would be most effective in helping them overcome their biases.

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