Examining the Relationship between Gender Microaggressions and Mental Health Variables in a College Student Population
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This study was designed to examine potential relationships between college students' experiences of gender microaggressions and mental health variables including anxiety, depression, stress, and self-efficacy. Students completed a questionnaire that elicited self-report experiences with gender microaggressions on a monthly and yearly basis. Female participants were asked to complete an additional set of gender microaggression items. The mental health variables were assessed using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (Beck & Steer, 1993), Beck Depression Inventory (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996), Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983), and the General Self-Efficacy Scale (Jerusalem & Schwarzer, 1981). Participants were recruited in undergraduate psychology courses and via campus flyers. A total of ninety students participated in the study. Results of this study indicate that female college students experienced significantly more gender microaggressions than male college students within the last month. However, this gender difference was not significant for the gender microaggressions experienced within the last year. Moderate significantly positive correlations were found between anxiety and monthly and yearly microaggressions. Modest significantly positive correlations were found between depression and monthly and yearly microaggressions. Modest significantly positive correlations were also found between stress and monthly and yearly microaggressions. Self-efficacy was only found to be negatively and significantly associated with stress, not anxiety and depression.