Sociology, Department of


First Advisor

Deadric Williams

Date of this Version



Cardwell, Marissa. 2019. "Interpersonal Discrimination and Mental Health among Minority Students at Predominantly White Institutions: Does Racial Identity Matter?" M.A. thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska--Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.

Copyright (c) 2019 Marissa Lynn Cardwell


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Sociology, Under the Supervision of Professor Deadric Williams. Lincoln, Nebraska: March, 2019.

Copyright (c) 2019 Marissa Lynn Cardwell


Large proportions of minority group members commonly report experiencing interpersonal racial discrimination in many different domains of their lives, and this exposure to discrimination may be particularly salient for minority group members attending Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). Persistent exposure to discrimination has been linked to diminished wellbeing. Given this link, research has begun to identify potential buffers to the association between racial discrimination and diminished mental health. One such protective factor is racial ideology. The current paper investigates whether racial identity attitudes serve as protective factors between racial discrimination and mental health outcomes using daily diary data from 146 students attending a large, midwestern PWI. Results show, among seven racial identity attitudes, assimilationist (believing in the integration and full participation of all racial groups into one culture) and private regard (having warm feelings toward the racial group to which one belongs) identities are protective against feelings of loneliness. However, the current analyses also show that nationalist beliefs (loyalty to one’s own racial group) magnify daily feelings of anger and anxiety when exposed to discrimination.

Advisor: Deadric Williams

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