Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

First Advisor

John L. Jackson, Jr., PhD

Second Advisor

Howard Stevenson, PhD

Abstract

The retention, success, and well-being of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in the United States is a critical issue in the field of higher education. Colleges and Universities across the United States often reflect intractable conflicts and dynamics of the larger society. Consequently, institutions of higher education have grappled with the dynamic of systemic and interpersonal racism throughout history. Racial and ethnic microaggressions is a recent dynamic that has been described to impact the well-being of college students of color. Racial microaggressions are perceived intentional or unintentional slights that have been suggested to impact the self-esteem of college students. The following is a two-paper mixed method dissertation pilot study examining the relationship between racial-ethnic microaggressions, self-esteem, and perceived social support among college students in the United States. The first paper is a literature review examining racial-ethnic microaggressions, self-esteem, and perceived social support. The second paper is a mixed method pilot study among college students examining the relationship amongst the three variables. A sample of (N = 5) semi-structured interviews were conducted for the qualitative section of the second paper and a sample of (N = 81) college students completed a survey which included the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and the Racial and Ethnic Microagressions Scale. A descriptive and correlational analysis was conducted in the quantitative section of the second paper and a thematic analysis was utilized for the qualitative section. Findings from this pilot study identify a correlation among selective variables, emerging themes, protective factors, and implications for future research.

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