Presentation on theme: "Self Competence and Depressive Symptoms in Ethnic Minority Students: The Role of Ethnic Identity and School Belonging Praveena Gummadam and Laura D. Pittman."— Presentation transcript:
Self Competence and Depressive Symptoms in Ethnic Minority Students: The Role of Ethnic Identity and School Belonging Praveena Gummadam and Laura D. Pittman Introduction Ethnic minority students encompass 30% of the undergraduate population in the United States and will grow to 37% by 2015 (Carevale & Fry, 2000). Ethnic minority college students experience higher amounts of stress related to this distinction than those who are not (Greer & Chwalisz, 2007). Ethnic identity has been related to a variety of mental health outcomes such as self- esteem and depression (e.g., Phinney & Alipuria, 1990; Roberts et al., 1999). School belonging, the sense of fitting in, belonging, and being supported in a school or university environment, has also been associated with several mental health and academic outcomes (e.g., Anderman, 2002; Pittman & Richmond, 2008). To date, there has been no research that has examined the combined effects of these factors on mental health outcomes in a college population. This poster aims to explore the main effects and combined associations of school belonging and ethnic identity with regards to depressive symptoms and self competence among ethnic minority college students. Method 332 college students enrolled in an introductory psychology course who identified as being an ethnic minority completed questionnaires related to this study for course credit. Measures Ethnic identity was assessed using the short form of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM; Phinney and Ong, 2007). School belonging was measured using the revised version of the Psychological Sense of School Belonging scale (Goodenow, 1993; Pittman & Richmond, 2008). Self competence was measured using The Self-Perception Profile for College Students (Neeman & Harter, 1986). Depressive symptoms were assessed using The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977). Participants also filled out a demographic questionnaire to obtain information regarding: gender, ethnicity, generational status in the United States, standard of living, parental education level, and semesters at the university. Demographics 55% female, 45% male 48% African American, 20% Hispanic, 17% Asian, 15% Other Generational Status in the United States: 54% Third Generation, 7.4% Second Generation, 38.5% First Generation. 55.6% reported a comfortable standard of living. Participants on average had spent 1.59 semesters at the university. Data Analysis All analyses controlled for participant gender, semesters at the university, standard of living, generational status in the United States, and ethnicity. Correlations were run to examine the individual relationship of ethnic identity and school belonging with mental health outcomes. Partial correlations were run to determine to account for any influence of demographic variables on these associations. Two OLS regression were run to determine how school belonging and ethnic identity uniquely and collectively were associated with depressive symptoms and self competence. Regression 1 examined how school belonging and ethnic identity uniquely contributed to depressive symptoms and self competence when both were entered into the regression equation simultaneously. Regression 2 examined how school belonging moderated the links between ethnic identity and the outcome variables of depressive symptoms and self competence. An interaction term consisting of school belonging and ethnic identity was created and added to the regression model. The one significant interaction was probed to determine the nature of the interaction. Table 2. OLS Regressions Predicting Mental Health Outcomes by Ethnic Identity and School Belonging Independent Variable Depressive Symptoms Global Self Worth Scholastic Competence Social Acceptance Gender (1 = Female; 2 = Male).07.02 -.09.03 Semesters at NIU -.04.03.08.07 Generational Status.09.04 -.11.19 Standard of Living -.18***.07.15**.08 Ethnic Group (Control Group: African American) Hispanic -.01 -.03.05.08 Asian American.13 -.16* -.22**.06 Other -.01 -.11 -.14*.07 Ethnic Identity -.02.10.08.03 School Belonging -.48***.40***.30***.37*** F-Ratio 15.72*** 10.93*** 7.86*** 8.10*** R2R22.214.171.124 Note. Standardized beta coefficients are presented. * p <.05; ** p <.01; *** p <.001. As shown above, with low levels of School Belonging, higher levels of Ethnic Identity resulted in significantly higher levels of Global Self Worth; however among those with high levels of School Belonging, ethnic identity was not significantly related to Global Self Worth Conclusions & Discussion College students who have higher levels of school belonging or ethnic identity have better mental health outcomes. However, school belonging may play a more important role than ethnic identity with regards to mental health outcomes, at least in this setting. A strong feeling of belonging to one’s own ethnic group may protect minority students who may feel disconnected with the general campus community. Having a sense of connection to some group, whether it is the campus or one’s ethnic group seems to be important, which fits with Baumeister and Leary’s (1995) theory that the need to belong to a group is a fundamental human motivation. Further research examining these associations over time, to determine the direction of the effect would be helpful, as it may be that those with better mental health perceive themselves as fitting in better with larger groups. College communities may improve minority retention by providing programs and services that not only increase sense of belonging towards an institution but also ones that increase ethnic identity such as ethnic student organizations, ethnic student mentorship, and events featuring the celebration of non-dominant cultures. References Anderman, E. M. (2002). School effects on psychological outcomes during adolescence. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 795-809 Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497-529. Carevale, A. P., & Fry, R. A. (2000). Crossing the great divide: Can we achieve equity when generation Y goes to college? (Leadership 2000 Series). Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. Goodenow, C. (1993). The psychological sense of school membership among adolescents: Scale development and educational correlates. Psychology in the Schools, 30, 79-90. Greer, T. W., & Chwalisz, K. (2007). Minority-related stressors and coping processes among African American college students. Journal of College Student Development, 48, 388-404. Neeman, J. & Harter, S. (1986). Manual for the Self-Perception Profile for College Students. University of Denver. Phinney, J. S., & Alipura, L. L. (1990). Ethnic identity in college students from four ethnic groups. Journal of Adolescence, 13, 171-183. Phinney, J. S., & Ong, A. D. (2007). Conceptualization and measurement of ethnic identity: Current status and future directions. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54, 237-281. Pittman, L. D., & Richmond, A. R. (2008). University belonging and friendship quality, during the transition to college: Links to self perceptions and psychological symptoms. Journal of Experimental Education, 75, 270-290. Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D Scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385-401. Roberts, R. E., Phinney, J. S., Mase, L. C., Chen, R., Roberts, C. R., & Romero, A. (1999) The structure of ethnic identity of young adolescents from diverse ethnocultural groups. Journal of Early Adolescence 19, 301-322.. Figure 1.: Interaction between School Belonging and Ethnic Identity with regards to Global Self Worth Depressive Symptoms Global Self Worth Scholastic Competence Social Acceptance Ethnic Identity School Belonging Depressive Symptoms 1.00 -.48*** -.39*** -.35***-.11 -.51*** Global Self Worth -.48*** 1.00.56***.54***.20***.43*** Scholastic Competence -.35***.54*** 1.00.23***.18**.34*** Social Acceptance -.33***.53***.21*** 1.00.09.40*** Ethnic Identity -.13*.19**.17**.11* 1.00.19** School Belonging -.49***.43***.33***.38***.23*** 1.00 Note. Values above the diagonal are bivariate correlations. Values below the diagonal are partial correlations, controlling for gender, semesters at the university, generational status, standard of living, and ethnicity. p* <.05; ** p <.01; *** p <.001. Table 1. Correlations of Ethnic Identity, School Belonging and Mental Health Outcomes Results As shown above, bivariate and partial correlations indicate that school belonging and ethnic identity are both significantly related to the mental health outcomes as well as to each other. As shown below, when both are entered in a regression equation, school belonging seems to play a more important role than ethnic identity with regards to mental health outcomes. In the 2 nd regression the interaction between school belonging and ethnic identity significantly predicted Global Self Worth (data not shown, but see Figure 1).