Racial Microaggressions and Sense of Belonging at a Historically White University

Jioni A. Lewis, Ruby Mendenhall, Ashley Ojiemwen, Merin Thomas, Cameron Riopelle, Stacy Anne Harwood, Margaret Browne Huntt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study applied critical race theory to explore the racial microaggression experiences of students of color (i.e., African American, Asian American, Latinx, and Multiracial students) at a historically White university. Using quantitative and qualitative data from an online survey (N = 1,710), we explored the relationship between the frequency of racial microaggressions and sense of belonging using multiple regression analysis. In addition, we analyzed qualitative open-ended responses to better understand students’ perceptions about how the racial microaggressions they experienced affected their sense of belonging. The findings indicated that African American students reported experiencing a significantly greater frequency of racial microaggressions than Asian American, Latinx, and Multiracial students. In addition, students who reported a greater frequency of racial microaggressions also reported lower sense of belonging. We highlight implications for future research on students of color at historically White universities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1071
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume65
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • campus climate
  • higher education
  • racial microaggressions
  • racism
  • sense of belonging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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