Research Problem/Question: The researchers had based their research on the argument that experience of race or ethnicity discrimination could be directly linked with negative psychological consequences. However, the researcher had maintained that “non-white people” which include people from Asian, African and other ethnicities (other than US, Europe) could have higher rates of PTSD- posttraumatic stress disorder. However, there was no sufficient research whether this relation was tested for a population which was racially diverse and was not exposed to any particular distressing situation (Pieterse, Carter, Evans, & Walter, 2010).
The researches had decided to test the presence of any relation between trauma-related symptoms, race/ethnic related discrimination and the racial climate in a population who were not exposed to any depressing event/situation. The research was two-fold: the primary research was to examine whether the discrimination on ethnic/racial basis would predict symptoms of stress (trauma) and the second objective was to find out whether there was an association between negative discrimination on ethnic/racial basis was linked with trauma symptoms (Pieterse, Carter, Evans, & Walter, 2010).
Significance of the Research: This research was significant in the manner that it was not possible to respond to the psychological needs of any individual especially “non-white people” without properly understanding past traumatic experiences. And these discriminately affected people could further develop a sense of alertness and will continually anticipate racial discrimination/behavior. Later on, these individuals might experience identity confusion, feelings of guilt, and difficulties in social interaction or in their personal relationships (Pieterse, Carter, Evans, & Walter, 2010).
Research Methodology: the sample size included 289 undergraduate students studying in the educational institution based in mid-Atlantic region, US. The ages of these students ranged from 18-53 years from both White and non-white ethnic groups. Around 61% of the sample was female students and remaining 39% were males, both from different socio-economic status and enrolled in 1st to 4th years of study. The sample was also diversified in terms of nationality and religion. The measures used for this research included the Perceived Stress Scale–10 to assess the extent to which these students though their lives as stressful, the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist to assess the extent to which the participants had gone through any stressful situation in the previous month, the PEDQ to assess the occurrence of discrimination events and the Racial Climate Scale to evaluate the effect of racial climate on colleges. The participants in the study were required to complete the survey questionnaire based on all four measures (Pieterse, Carter, Evans, & Walter, 2010).
Results: Initially outliers were removed so that the data could fit the assumption of normal distribution. A one-way MANOVA was conducted to test the study variables/measures. The overall model was significant (Wilkes’ lambda= .71, p < .000). Test of between subjects effects revealed that the groups were statistically significantly differing in their perceptions of prejudice (PEDQ), F(2, 283) = 49.70, p < .01, eta squared= .26, and racial climate (RE), F(2, 283) = 49.70, p < .010, eta squared=.03. Also the Tukey post-hoc test also confirmed that there were significant differences in the perception of discrimination (difference in mean scores) across all ethnic groups of the sample. Black students reported the highest level, then the Asian students reported discrimination lower than Black students. The White students had reported the lowest level of discrimination. Similarly Black student had reported the racial climate as most negative, then other groups. To examine the first research question, the researchers had run the two separate hierarchical regression analyses that revealed that racial climate would represent discrimination-related trauma linked with the environment. The regression analysis also suggested that racial climate in particular and not perceived prejudice could be unique predictors of stress related symptoms (Pieterse, Carter, Evans, & Walter, 2010).
Pieterse, A. L., Carter, R. T., Evans, S. A., & Walter, R. A. (2010). An Exploratory Examination of the Associations Among Racial and Ethnic. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 57(3), 255-263.