VALENCE OF ETHNICITY, PERCEPTION OF DISCRIMINATION, AND SELF-ESTEEM IN HIGH RISK MINORITY COLLEGE STUDENTS

LORELYNN W MIRAGE, Fordham University

Abstract

This study sought to examine the relationships between valence of ethnicity (VE), perception of discrimination (PD) and levels of self-esteem in multicultural high risk college students.^ VE was defined as the affirmative responses a member of an ethnic group had regarding the effect and importance of group membership. PD was defined as the perception an individual held concerning the existence in society of barriers for some groups toward social, educational and occupational equality based on ethnic group membership. Self-esteem was defined as competence, self-respect and worthiness.^ It was hypothesized that there would be significant positive relationships between VE, PD and self-esteem.^ The SEI (Coopersmith 1984) and CF/SEI (Battle, 1981) were employed to measure levels of self-esteem. No appropriate instrument was found to examine VE and PD. Therefore the Scale of the Effects of Ethnicity and Discrimination (SEED) was designed and pilot-tested.^ VE was measured by two subscales: VES, characterized by feelings about one's own ethnicity and VEO, characterized by feelings about other ethnic groups. The PD construct was measured by the PD scale.^ One hundred ninety male and female high risk college students of Black American, Black West Indian and Hispanic (largely Puerto Rican) backgrounds were enlisted. All were entering students.^ Results indicated that there were no significant differences due to sex or ethnic group membership on the SEED scales. There were overwhelmingly positive perceptions of discrimination based on group membership. Eighty to ninety percent of the groups stated serious concern with job discrimination; 81% of Black Americans agreed to experiencing school related discrimination.^ A significant positive relationship was found between VES and self-esteem. A significant negative relationship was found between PD and self-esteem. No relationship was found between VEO and self-esteem. Thus, results indicated that the more individuals affirm their ethnicity the higher are their levels of self-esteem. Also the more individuals perceive discrimination the lower are their levels of self-esteem.^ That significant differences have been found within this 'homogeneous' grouping is noteworthy. VE, PD, and the counseling and educational implications of these areas are vastly unexplored. Recommendations include further development of the constructs, instrumentation, and ethnotherapy interventions. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Higher education

Recommended Citation

MIRAGE, LORELYNN W, "VALENCE OF ETHNICITY, PERCEPTION OF DISCRIMINATION, AND SELF-ESTEEM IN HIGH RISK MINORITY COLLEGE STUDENTS" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8725682.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8725682

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