Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Wing Yi Chan

Second Advisor

Dr. Erin Tully

Third Advisor

Dr. Chris Henrich


Racial discrimination has been linked to depressive symptoms (Pascoe & Richman, 2009), but only a few studies have explored this relationship longitudinally. This study examines the possible moderating role of faculty and peer support on the discrimination-depression relationship amongst 180 ethnic minority college freshmen. Results of the hierarchical regression indicate that racial discrimination, β = .13, p < .05, in the first semester of freshman year significantly predicted depressive symptoms in the second semester of freshman year. No interactions were found between discrimination and peer support (β = .06, p > .05), or between discrimination and two forms of faculty support (faculty interactions, β = .05, p > .05, and faculty concern, β = -.10, p > .05). Thus, unlike predicted, peer and faculty support did not serve as protective factors against discrimination-related stress. Future studies should investigate which types of coping most benefit ethnic minority freshmen.