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The Relation of Gender to Racial Discrimination Experiences and Achievement Among Black College Students.

By Ashley Brooke Evans


The current study examines gender differences in the nature of racial discrimination experiences for Black college students and considers how different forms of discrimination may be relevant to achievement. Utilizing an intersectionality framework (Cole, 2009) this dissertation explores the possibility that as a result of their unique race-gender identities, Black men and women are likely to face qualitatively different forms of racial discrimination, and further, that these discrimination experiences relate differentially to achievement and adjustment outcomes. Data for this study were drawn from a cross-lagged survey of 403 Black college students from three universities. Results of univariate and structural path model analyses indicate significant gender differences in the nature of racial discrimination experiences for Black students. Comparisons across four types of interpersonal discrimination events indicated that men and women were equally likely to experience racial hassles in which their intellect was devalued. This type of maltreatment was related to higher reports of stress, anxiety, and depression one year later. However, men were more likely than women to experience being treated with fear and suspicion and to be overtly harassed (e.g. being insulted, called names, etc.). Gender differences in reports of discrimination also related to unique outcomes for men and women in the sample. In particular, experiences of fear/suspicions-based discrimination explained gender differences in achievement and mental health outcomes. Men were more likely to experience fear/suspicion-based discrimination, which subsequently predicted lower grade point average and higher reports of stress. These results suggest that there are important differences in the ways that Black men and women experience racial discrimination. Previous research solely examining the overall frequency of reported discrimination without regard to participant gender or the complex nature of discrimination events may not have adequately captured important nuances implicated in the achievement-related outcomes of Black students. Future research should more fully incorporate intersectional perspectives on the role of gender in race-related events in order to capture the complexity of experiences within social categories

Topics: Racial Discrimination, Achievement, Gender, College, Black/African-American
Year: 2011
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