Some Complexities in the Effects of Diversity Experiences on Orientation Toward Social/Political Activism and Political Views in the First Year of College


This study analyzed longitudinal data from 19 institutions to determine if the net effects of diversity experiences on orientation toward social/political activism and political views are discernible as early as the fi rst year of postsecondary education. Statistically controlling for other infl uences, including precollege measures of each outcome, we found that interactional diversity positively infl uenced both social/political activism and liberal political views, and that classroom diversity had a small positive infl uence on social/political activism. More importantly, however, we also found that the magnitude of the effects of both interactional and classroom diversity is substantially determined by individual student precollege characteristics.