Critiquing Inequality in Society and on Campus: Peers and Faculty Facilitate Civic and Academic Outcomes of College Students

Josefina Bañales, Alexandria Pech, Bernardette J. Pinetta, Andres Pinedo, Maiya Whiteside, Matthew A. Diemer, Andrea J. Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Guided by Critical Consciousness Theory and the Multicontextual Model for Diverse Learning Environments, this research explored whether a critical reflection of societal inequality and a hostile campus climate were associated with collective student efficacy and grade point average (GPA) among racially/ethnically diverse students. We examined whether these relationships were mediated by positive and informal experiences with peers or faculty. Multiple indicator multiple causes models indicated that there were no latent mean differences or differential item functioning based on students’ race/ethnicity, indicating that study measures were not biased against Students of Color or white students. There was one latent mean difference based on gender, such that women were more likely than men to endorse a critical reflection of societal inequality. Structural equation modeling indicated that a critical reflection of societal inequality was positively associated with collective student efficacy and GPA. In contrast, a hostile campus climate was negatively associated with collective student efficacy, GPA, and positive and informal experiences with peers or faculty. Negative experiences with faculty mediated the association between a hostile campus climate and collective student efficacy, such that a more hostile campus climate was associated with fewer positive and informal experiences with faculty and these negative experiences, in turn, were associated with less collective student efficacy. These findings suggest that a critical reflection of societal inequality promotes positive civic and academic capacities among college students, and that support from campus members (e.g., faculty) is key to achieve these positive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalResearch in Higher Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Academic achievement
  • Civic engagement
  • Critical consciousness
  • Hostile campus climate
  • Peers or faculty experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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