The impact of microaggressions on Black college students’ worry about their future employment: The moderating role of social support and academic achievement.

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Objectives: Several studies have documented the negative impact of microaggressions on anxiety among Black individuals. However, few investigations have examined the impact of microaggressions on Black college students’ worries about their future employment and potential moderating factors. We examined whether there would be an association between microaggressions and worries about future employment. Furthermore, both social support and academic achievement (measured by grade point average) were purported to moderate this association. Method: Secondary data analysis was used, with the study sample consisting of Black college students (n = 225) from a predominately White institution. Participants had a mean age of 20.43 years (SD = 1.79), with females comprising 74.80% of the sample. Results: Results revealed that social support buffered the effect of microaggressions for low-achieving students, while a buffering effect of social support was not found for high-achieving students. Conclusions: Perceived social support offers some protection against the exposure of racial microaggressions, although high-achieving Black college students (the most vulnerable to potential isolation and academic pressure) may not benefit from overall social support. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) Public Significance Statement—This study adds to the growing body of literature documenting the negative effects of exposure to racial microaggression on academic outcomes among Black college students. Based on our findings, exposure to racial microaggressions negatively impacted students’ worry about their future employment, with social support buffering the effect of racial microaggressions for low-achieving students but not high-achieving students. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

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