Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Charles E. Collyer

Abstract

Racial Microaggressions (RM) in academic settings can have pervasive effects on students of color, specifically in graduate programs. A national sample (N = 289) was collected from programs approved by APA in order to validate a newly developed Scale called Assessment of Racial Microaggressions in Academic Settings (ARMAS). An exploratory factor analyses was conducted which yielded eight factors: (1) Ascription of Intelligence, (2) Assumptions of being a foreigner, (3) Multicultural issues seen as not a priority and being treated differently (4) Invisibility/Felt ignored, (5) Assumptions about me and my work with clients/representing entire race, (6) Colorblindness, (7) Assumptions of professional advantage because of race/ethnicity, and (8) Stereotypical assumptions about my race/ethnicity. Reliability along with discriminant and convergent validity was analyzed. Results of the study suggest that the ARMAS is a valid and reliable measure of RMs in academic settings.

Additional results indicate that half of the sample considered dropping-out more frequently during the first three years of their programs. Higher scores in the ARMAS were in factors that are unique of this study of RMs in academic settings (Assumptions about me and my work with clients, and Assumptions of professional advantage because of race/ethnicity). Participants’ main reasons for dropping out included: lack of support from faculty, lack of confidence, overwhelmed about academic demands and RMs. Microinvalidations was one of the top three reasons for dropping out for Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Multiracial graduate students. Practical implications to support graduate students of color and future directions for research are discussed

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