Perceived Racial/Ethnic Discrimination and Adjustment Among Ethnically Diverse College Students: Family and Peer Support as Protective Factors
- Journal of College Student Development
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 57, Number 4, May 2016
- pp. 380-394
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Adopting a risk and resilience perspective, the current study examined whether family cohesion and peer support functioned as protective factors against the negative effects of racial/ethnic discrimination by peers. The sample included 142 ethnically diverse college students. The results showed that while greater perceived discrimination was related to poorer adjustment (in terms of depressive symptoms, somatization, and loneliness), peer support, but not family cohesion, modified some of these relations. The findings highlight the importance of identifying protective factors in the contexts of family and peers. Doing so moves research on discrimination beyond targeting only individual-level characteristics (such as a stronger ethnic identity or personal coping strategies) to include factors concerning a broader network of support in understanding how the negative effects of discrimination may be tempered.