The Moderating Role of Acculturation in the Relationship Between Harassment and Psychological Outcomes
Berkowski, Monisha L.
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Recent research indicates that college students experience some form of harassment at levels that can be considered normative. Although previous research has focused on some moderators of racial and sexual harassment, no research has investigated the moderating effect of acculturation on multiple forms of harassment (Le., sexual, racial, and racialized sexual harassment). The current study specifically addresses the combination of racial and sexual harassment (racialized sexual harassment) in order to incorporate the unique form of harassment experienced by women of color. In the current study, t-tests and ANOVAs were used to explore sex and ethnicity differences in the incidence of harassment among 537 female and 240 male undergraduate students. Of these students, there were 387 Caucasians, 205 African-Americans, 85 Asian Americans, 48 Latino/as, and 49 identified as Multiracial Sequential regressions were employed to investigate the role of acculturation in the relationship between harassment and psychological outcomes (Le., self-esteem, life satisfaction, general clinical symptoms, PTSD, depression). Results indicated no sex differences in the incidence of harassment. Caucasians reported the least amount of racial and racialized sexual harassment, whereas multiracial individuals reported the highest amount of racial and racialized sexual harassment. Results indicate that multiracial individuals may be at a higher risk of racial harassment due to their multiple group membership. Less acculturated individuals experienced significantly more harassment and experienced more negative psychological outcomes than more highly acculturated individuals. Results suggest that identification with Caucasian-American culture may help to buffer against the negative effects of racialized sexual harassment.