Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Carrie Masia Warner

Committee Member

Jeremy Fox

Committee Member

Sharifa Williams


Racial microaggressions are daily, often subtle, verbal, environmental, and behavioral slights and insults targeted at a person or their race. Racial microaggressions can have deleterious effects on the mental health and academic outcomes of Black college students. As research on this relationship increases, it is essential to assess factors that may moderate, or lessen, the impact of racial microaggressions. There is evidence that mentoring, a form of social support, may attune the adverse effects of racial microaggressions on mental health and academic outcomes. The current study explored the relationship between racial microaggressions and mental health and academic outcomes (social anxiety, generalized anxiety, depression, and academic self-efficacy) in Black undergraduate students and assessed if the presence of mentoring moderated this relationship. Results suggest that racial microaggressions have a significant negative impact on mental health outcomes and none on academic self-efficacy. Additionally, while mentoring has a significant positive impact on three outcome variables, it does not operate as a buffer variable for the relationship between racial microaggressions and the study outcomes. As there is a direct relationship but not a buffering one, other factors may better attune the relationship between racial microaggressions and mental health and academic outcomes in Black college students. It also suggests that having a mentor can benefit college students’ mental health and well-being and can be used to offer support to the growing literature on the impact of social support in this population. Further research is needed to examine the potential buffers of the relationship. Given the beneficial impact of mentoring, additional research can further explore the longitudinal effects of mentoring on this population.

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