American Psychological Association
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Original Item ID
Objectives: The current study investigates the utility of political activism as a protective factor against experiences of racial/ethnic (R/E) discrimination that negatively affect stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms among Black and Latinx college freshmen at predominately White institutions. Method: Data come from the Minority College Cohort Study, a longitudinal investigation of Black and Latinx college students (N = 504; 44% Black). We conducted multiple regression analyses for each mental health indicator and tested for interaction effects. Results: For Black and Latinx students, the relationship between R/E microaggressions and end of freshman year stress varied by political activism. For Black students, the relationship between R/E microaggressions and end of the year anxiety varied by political activism. There was a significant interaction effect for depressive symptoms among Latinx students. Conclusions: Political activism serves as a protective factor to mitigate the negative effect of R/E discrimination on stress and depressive symptoms for Latinx students. For Black students, higher levels of political activism may exacerbate experiences of R/E microaggressions and relate to more stress and anxiety compared with Black students who are less politically involved. Findings point to the need for a deeper understanding of phenomenological variation in experiences of microaggressions among R/E minorities and how students leverage political activism as an adaptive coping strategy to mitigate race-related stress during college.
Hope, Elan C.; Velez, Gabriel; Offidani-Bertrand, Carly; Keels, Micere; and Durkee, Myles I., "Political Activism and Mental Health Among Black and Latinx College Students" (2018). College of Education Faculty Research and Publications. 585.
ADA Accessible Version
Accepted version. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 1 (January 2018): 26-39. DOI. © American Psychological Association. Used with permission.
Gabriel Velez was affiliated with University of Chicago at the time of publication.