Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Ethnic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Joanne Belknap

Second Advisor

Dr. Arturo Aldama

Third Advisor

Dr. Enrique J. López

Abstract

This study documents the presence of various types of racial discrimination experienced by Latinx college students, the effects of this racism on the students' self-reported anxiety and depression levels, and how these are related to the students’ generation as college students. (i.e., their parents’ history of attending and completing college). This research builds on the existing research on Asian American college students, applying it to the impact that racism, discrimination and microaggressions can have on Latinx students, the invisibility and hyper-visibility that these students feel as a result of this racism, the lack of support that they receive for it, and whether it is related to their generational level (i.e., their parents’ college history). The data are from basic demographic information and two survey instruments: the Racial Microaggressions Survey (Torres-Harding, Andrade, & Diaz, 2012) and the Brief Symptom Inventory Scale (Derogatis & Melisaratos, 1983). The results from the approximately 200 Latinx college students who participated in this on-line survey indicate not only a troubling prevalence of racial discrimination and microaggressions, but that these experiences are significantly related to the students’ mental health/well-being. The findings are discussed in terms of addressing the racial campus climate (policy) and directions for future research on college students of color.

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