Date of Award

8-8-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Wing Yi Chan

Second Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc

Third Advisor

Kevin Swartout

Fourth Advisor

Cirleen DeBlaere

Fifth Advisor

Bryant Marks

Abstract

Recent events have brought the issues of campus racial climate to the forefront. Research supports campus racial climate’s impact on a host of academic outcomes for African American college students (Chavous, 2005; Tynes, Rose, & Markoe, 2013). While there has been a significant amount of research, there are several limitations. One issue is the varying definitions and measures of campus racial climate used across studies. These differing conceptualizations of racial climate preclude adequate integration of the existing research. Another area of concern is that studies lack representative samples of African American students. Many studies either compare African American students to White students or include African Americans within a broader group of students of color that is still compared to White students. Many measures are also unidimensional. Before campus racial climate research can be advanced, it is vital to formulate a measure of campus racial climate that is multidimensional and encompassing of different levels within the college setting. The purpose of the proposed study is to develop and validate a multidimensional measure of campus racial climate for African American college students. The study employed a mixed-methods design. I conducted five group interviews to identify emergent themes in African American college students’ perceptions of racial climate. Based on these themes, a racial climate measure was constructed and then validated using survey data from 334 participants split into two samples. Exploratory factor analysis supported a three-factor solution with 15 items. Confirmatory factor analysis suggested a good model fit and the measure demonstrated reliability, convergent validity, and criterion-related validity. Recommendations for improvements to campus racial climate are provided.

Available for download on Saturday, July 28, 2018

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