Theses Doctoral

Differential Impact of Racial Microaggressions on Asian Americans: Relationship to Perpetrator and Power Status

Kim, Rachel Haeyoung

The unremitting image of Asian Americans as being "Model Minority" has created a veil that conceals their incessant struggles with discrimination, prejudice and microaggressions on individual, institutional and cultural levels. Previous studies have highlighted the personal and collective struggles of this group and emphasized the harmful consequences to physical, emotional and mental well-being of Asian Americans. The current study explored potential factors that may influence the impact of experiencing racial microaggressions for Asian Americans. More specifically, a 2 x 2 between-subjects factorial design was utilized to examine whether level of familiarity and role of power in the target's relationship with the perpetrator differentially impacts the experience of a racial microaggression. A vignette illustrated a microaggressive encounter with a perpetrator who differed on these conditions with a sample of 263 Asian Americans. The findings indicate support for the damaging psychological consequences of receiving racial microaggressions with participants reporting significantly negative experience when the perpetrator was someone familiar in a position of authority. The results of the present study contribute to the literature on racial microaggressions by providing support for the injurious impact it has for Asian Americans and continues to challenge the model minority myth that persists to silence their voices and invalidate their racial reality.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Counseling Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Sue, Derald W.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 19, 2013