By Christa Scott, Psychology and Organizational Leadership; Samuel Belch, Psychology; Raneem Shammout, Psychology
Advisor: Stacie Furst-Holloway
Abstract: Today, we are living in a more diverse world than ever before, fueled by changes in globalization, immigration and demographic shifts. Our college campuses are thus more diverse and heterogeneous than they have ever been, creating both opportunities and challenges for students as they navigate their undergraduate and graduate experiences (e.g., Cuyjet et al., 2012). Research related to diversity and inclusion in higher education suggests that for students from underrepresented groups, feelings of exclusion often arise that can increase pressure they feel to hide or change pieces of who they are in order to fit in. Thus, students who hold marginalized identities report less positive experiences, greater levels of stress, and less well-being than those who do not hold these identities. Yet, extant research tends to examine one or two identities in isolation, ignoring the fact that people have multiple identities that shape their experiences. The purpose of this study is to address this gap in the literature by examining the multiple identities that students hold and how those collectively relate to their student experiences. We surveyed 100 graduate and undergraduate students attending universities across the globe and asked them to describe their various identities and their perceptions of being a student at their university. Using these data, we will compute the number of marginalized identities each participant reports and assess the relationship between that sum and their perceptions of stress, well-being, turnover intentions, and satisfaction. Implications for research and practice will be discussed.