In or Out: The Power of Ethnic Group Status and Ethnic Identity on Diminishing the Effects of Racial Ethnic Microaggressions

Amabell Garcia, Pace University

Abstract

The protective role of ethnic identity and the detrimental effects of overt forms of racial and ethnic discrimination among ethnic groups have been documented. In addition, the significant impact that social influences have on group affiliation has been empirically established. The current study examined the effects of ethnic group status on the relationships between ethnic identity, experienced racial and ethnic microaggressions, and self-esteem. Based on self-identified ethnicity, a total of 125 U.S. participants (99 females, aged 1 8-65) were divided into the mainstream ethnic group status (i.e., White/European; n = 37) and non-mainstream ethnic group status (i.e., Latino, Asian, Black, or Multi-Ethnic/Racial; n = 88). Participants completed the Ethnic Identity Scale (EIS), Racial and Ethnic Microaggressions Scale (REMS), and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). In support of prior findings, there was a positive relationship between EIS Resolution and self-esteem. Although ethnic group status did not moderate the relationships between ethnic identity, racial and ethnic microaggressions, and self-esteem, differences among these groups emerged. Consistent with existing literature, participants within the non-mainstream ethnic group were more likely to endorse ethnicity as central to their identity, report higher levels of ethnic identity development and more experiences of racial and ethnic microaggressions when compared to the mainstream ethnic group. Despite reporting statistically significant higher levels of self-esteem, the participants within the non-mainstream ethnic group endorsed feelings of rejection from members of their respective ethnic in-group and held beliefs that mainstream society held negative views of their particular ethnic group. Implications for school and clinical psychology are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Amabell Garcia, "In or Out: The Power of Ethnic Group Status and Ethnic Identity on Diminishing the Effects of Racial Ethnic Microaggressions" (January 1, 2013). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI3574429.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI3574429

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