Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Ciara Smalls Glover

Second Advisor

Laura McKee

Third Advisor

Erin Tone


The present study examined whether two dimensions of racial ideology, specifically nationalist ideology and assimilationist ideology, moderate the link between racial discrimination and a comprehensive measure of psychological well-being (i.e., well-being, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms). The purpose was to understand how each ideology may be a risk or protective factor. The study was conducted with 339 African American college students attending a large ethnically diverse minority-serving institution. Results revealed that frequency of perceived racial discrimination was linked to poor psychological well-being. Nationalist ideology was not associated with psychological well-being outcomes and assimilationist ideology was associated with poor psychological well-being. Contrary to hypotheses, racial ideologies did not buffer or exacerbate the link between racial discrimination and psychological well-being. This study emphasizes the importance of examining multiple indicators of psychological well-being and suggests that future work should consider the influence of a multicultural context when studying racial processes among college students.