By Anja Bosiljcic, Psychology and Libaral Arts; Linh Khanh, Psychology; Yujin Lee, Psychology
Advisor: Stacie Furst-Holloway
Abstract: Globalization and demographic shifts have created a more diverse world than ever before. The same holds true for the diversity on college campuses. Greater diversity amongst students can present some challenges to students from underrepresented groups (Cuyjet et al., 2012). For instance, these students often report feelings of exclusion and engaging in efforts to hide or change their identities to conform with majority members (Friedman et al., 2012). These behaviors are particularly detrimental because when individuals view an aspect of their identity as negative, devalued, or inconsistent with the rest of "who they are," they experience greater stress and diminished well-being. Unfortunately, research to date that examines how students manage their identities is limited to studying one or two identities at a time (e.g., biracial students). This work ignores the fact that individuals hold multiple identities that collectively shape and inform their experiences. In order to address this gap, this study aims to examine the connections between the multiple identities students hold and their perceptions of the school experience. We conducted a survey of more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students from across the globe and asked participants to indicate the extent to which each identity contributes to a positive or negative sense of self and also whether a given identity is related (positively, negatively, or unrelated) to one another. We will examine the correlation between identity valence and connectedness and student perceptions of stress, well-being, inclusion, and satisfaction. Implications for research and practice will be discussed.