Social identity threat (SIT) occurs when an individual fears being negatively judged based on their identity. Due to their high susceptibility to SIT, underrepresented minorities (URMs) are likely to have a different educational experience compared to their non-URM peers. One potential method to improve URM students' experience is through mentorship. Therefore, the present study examined whether mentors influenced the educational experience for URMs in science by buffering the effects of SIT on belonging and help seeking. The analyses utilized archival data from 132 undergraduate students who completed a survey on whether they had a mentor, their perceptions of SIT, their sense of belonging, and their help seeking engagement. Contrary to expectations, no differences were found in belonging and help seeking between URM students with and without mentors; and mentors did not buffer against the effects of SIT on belonging and help seeking. Possible explanations and implications are discussed.
|Advisor:||Thoman, Dustin B.|
|Commitee:||Halim, May Ling, Pedersen, William|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 53/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Help-seeking, Mentors, Sense of belonging, Social identity threat, Underrepresented minority|
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