Ideology Matters: College Students’ Emotional Reactions to the Killing of Trayvon Martin

Sha’Kema M. Blackmon, Helen A. Neville, Anita Jones Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building on previous theory and research, we explored the associations among race, intergroup ideologies and emotional reactions to the killing of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman among 298 Black and White college students. We also examined the indirect effect of ethnocultural empathy on the links between race, intergroup ideologies, and emotional responding. Using latent class analysis, we identified three latent intergroup ideological classes: Racial Hierarchy-Enhancing Ideology, Universal Hierarchy-Enhancing Ideology (i.e., above sample mean color-blind racial ideology and or social dominance orientation) and Critical Reflection Attenuating Ideology (i.e., above sample mean critical consciousness). Membership in the Critical Reflection Attenuating Ideology group was associated with greater prosocial emotional responding as compared to the two hierarchy-enhancing latent groups. Finally, ethnocultural empathy had an indirect effect on the links between race, latent intergroup ideological classes, and emotional responding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-937
Number of pages29
JournalCounseling Psychologist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • color-blind racial ideology
  • critical consciousness
  • latent class analysis
  • racial affect
  • social dominance orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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