An Investigation of the Effects of Racial/Ethnic Microaggressions, Sociopolitical Development, and Protective Factors on Academic Persistence Intentions among Latina/o Students
MetadataShow full item record
As the nation's largest and fastest growing marginalized ethnic group, Latina/os play an increasingly crucial role in the economic and social life of the nation, highlighting the need for education systems to re-evaluate and expand their efforts in supporting and retaining this growing population. A number of contextual factors have been identified that influence the college experience and academic persistence of Latina/o students, including campus racial climate, perceptions of university environment, cultural congruity, interpersonal racism, and structural racism. An emerging area of research is racial/ethnic microaggressions (i.e., subtle forms of racism). In the face of these challenges, many Latina/os learn to critically navigate and negotiate the cultural environment of college, drawing on cultural strengths as well as cultural knowledge and skills gained in overcoming previous structural barriers to education. The focus of the present study is on Latina/o students and factors that influence their academic persistence intentions. Structural equation modeling techniques were performed to test a hypothesized structural model of the mechanisms by which racial/ethnic microaggressions, protective factors (i.e., resilience, mentor support, social support from family and friends), and sociopolitical development (i.e., ethnic identity, critical consciousness) influence Latina/o students' intentions to persist in academia. The hypothesized structural model tested indicated a good fit to the data. Study results were consistent with several study hypotheses: (a) the hypothesized structural model provided a good fit to the data; (b) the proposed set of relationships between resilience, mentor support, social support from family and friends, critical consciousness, ethnic identity, and intentions to persist accounted for significant variance in the model; (c) perceptions of university environment was directly related to intentions to persist; (d) protective factors (resilience, mentor support, social support from friends and family), sociopolitical development (ethnic identity and critical consciousness), and perceptions of university environment fully mediated the relationship between racial/ethnic microaggressions and intentions to persist; (e) protective factors mediated the relationship between perceptions of university environment and intentions to persist. Implications for practice and recommendations for future research are discussed.