The Biological Effects of Microaggressions on African Americans

Faculty Sponsor

Jim Nelson


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-28-2016


Many US minority groups experience frequent and casual negative interactions known as microaggressions. The purpose of this research is to determine how significantly a person's mental health is effected due to microaggressions. I will conduct this research using a subject group of African American students at Valparaiso University. I will provide them with a rating scale to determine if a person has actually encountered microaggressions. Subjects will be divided into two groups, according to whether they have been frequently or infrequently confronted with microaggressions, and from there on I will determine how microaggressions affected their mental health overall. Group comparison, linear modeling and other statistical procedures will be used to test for significant effects.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

I was born in the south suburbs of Chicago. My family is well off, as I had the privilege to attend private school for grade school, high school, and now college. However, growing up in predominately white schools, I was forced to encounter microaggressions, although at the time I wasn't aware of the impositions my classmates were forcing upon me. So, throughout research, it's interesting to understand what effect microaggressions has on an individual.

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