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ERIC Number: ED529748
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 312
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-3524-5
A Day in the Life of African American and European American College Students: Daily Affective Experience and Perceptions of Climate at a Predominantly White Institution
Birk, Nancy Adair
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
In the context of the under-representation of African Americans in higher education and the lawsuits targeting affirmative action policies in college admissions, the purpose of this study was to examine the daily affective experiences of African American and European American students at a predominantly White institution, exploring the activities to which they devote their time, the people with whom they interact, and the emotions accompanying these experiences, contrasting this with their perceptions of campus racial climate. A sample of 268 students participated in the study, completing the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM), an episodic measure of daily affective experience (Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz, & Stone, 2004a), and a global assessment of campus climate. Several key findings emerged from this research. On the global measure, African Americans expressed unfavorable views of the campus climate, but no race differences emerged regarding their daily affective experiences on the DRM. Women reported positive scores on the global measure, but greater negativity in daily experiences on the DRM. Interactions with others of a different race produced more negativity than when the partner was of the same race. Differences in time allocation were few by race, but more plentiful by gender. Women spent more time than men in academic activities and in goal-oriented activities. Men reported more time than women to different-race interactions and to activities with a tangible benefit. This study highlighted the importance of careful consideration of measurement in assessing the experiences and attitudes of college students. Because it does not draw upon direct experience, global measurements of climate may introduce bias into data that can lead to errors in interpretation and in policy. The findings from this research are not intended to discourage the use of global measurements per se, but rather to promote greater attention to the potential for bias often found with global instruments and to encourage the combination of episodic and global measures wherever feasible. The results of this study provide a more comprehensive picture of the ways in which college students experience the campus. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A