Sense of Belonging, Racial Microaggressions, and Depressive Symptoms among Students of Asian Descent in the United States

Shinwoo Choi, Suzie Weng, Hyejoon Park, Jioni Lewis, Stacy Anne Harwood, Ruby Mendenhall, Margaret Browne Huntt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study explored the moderating role of sense of belonging on the relations between racial microaggressions and depressive symptoms. Using survey data from students of Asian descent in the United States (N = 553) at a predominantly White university, we found that racial microaggressions and sense of belonging significantly predicted depressive symptoms. In addition, sense of belonging moderated the relations between racial microaggressions and depressive symptoms. Specifically, having a higher level of sense of belonging had a counter effect against the detrimental impact of racial microaggressions on the depressive symptoms. Implications for research and practice in higher education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-141
Number of pages27
JournalSmith College Studies in Social Work
Volume91
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Racism
  • campus climate
  • college students
  • depression
  • discrimination
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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