• The Role of Racial Microaggressions and Ethnic Racial Identity Affirmation on Academic Belonging Among Black and Latinx College Students

      Delgado, Melissa Y.; Toomey, Russell B.; Sarsar, Evelyn Danilova; Zeiders, Katharine H. (The University of Arizona., 2021)
      Racial microaggressions are subtle forms of racial discrimination experienced by marginalized groups during day-to-day interactions. Growing evidence suggests that these subtle experiences of racial discrimination negatively impact one’s psychological and physical well-being. Despite this work, however, few studies have explored the role of racial microaggressions in college students’ academic belonging. Alongside experiences of racial microaggressions, the current study also considered emerging adults’ethnic racial identity (ERI) affirmation, which refers to the positive attitudes and beliefs about one’s ethnic or racial group membership. ERI affirmation is an important construct for adolescents that has been shown to reduce and mitigate stressors, in some instances. To address limitations in the literature, the current study utilized a weekly diary design to examine how fluctuations in racial microaggressions relate to Latinx and Black emerging adults’ academic belonging and how ERI affirmation may mitigate the negative effects of racial microaggressions on academic belonging with peers, faculty, and administrators. Results indicated that week-to-week fluctuations in racial microaggressions were negatively associated with feelings of belonging with peers, but not with faculty or administrators. However, the average experiences of racial microaggressions on sense of belonging were positively associated with feelings of belonging with peers, faculty, and administrators. This suggests that even subtle forms of racial discrimination can impact one’s sense of belonging with others. ERI affirmation, however, did not mitigate the weekly association between racial microaggressions and academic belonging. College institutions must acknowledge that these subtle, yet impactful forms of discrimination, are still very prominent on college campuses and they have implications for emerging adults’ academic belonging.