Academic journal article Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development

Developing Cross-Racial Self-Efficacy: A Longitudinal Examination of the Role of Cross-Racial Mastery Experiences

Academic journal article Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development

Developing Cross-Racial Self-Efficacy: A Longitudinal Examination of the Role of Cross-Racial Mastery Experiences

Article excerpt

A social-cognitive model for the development of cross-racial self-efficacy was developed and tested in a longitudinal study involving a racially and culturally diverse sample of undergraduate students (N = 879). Multiple group analyses indicated that the model fit equally well for men and women and for White students and ethnic minority students.

En un estudio longitudinal que involucro a un grupo de estudiantes racial y culturalmente diverso (N = 879), se desarrollo y probo un modelo socio-cognitivo para el desarrollo de la autoeficacia interracial. Multiples analisis del grupo indicaron que el modelo se adapta igualmente bien a hombres y mujeres, asi como a estudiantes Blancos y de minorias etnicas.

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Although research has repeatedly outlined the benefits of a diverse student population on college campuses and echoed the positive educational effects of cross-racial interaction (CRI), a model for understanding and predicting the development of cross-racial self-efficacy (CRSE) among undergraduate students has not yet been offered. CRSE refers to an individual's belief in her or his ability to understand and interact with culturally diverse groups. The purpose of the current study was to propose and test the usefulness of a social-cognitive model (Bandura, 2002) to understand the development of CRSE among a racially and culturally diverse group of undergraduate students. Specifically, this study examines the role of the cross-racial mastery experiences, that is, the opportunities to develop skills, in CRSE. Testing this model will provide educational institutions with a theoretical and empirical basis for engaging in diversity programming that would enhance positive race relations and the development of CRSE.

The educational benefits indicated for students who engage in CRI support the need to foster multiculturally inclusive campus environments. Specifically, CRI has been positively related to student retention, intellectual and social self-confidence, and overall satisfaction with college (Gurin, 1999); social skills and civic interest (Chang, Astin, & Kim, 2004); social justice (Zuniga, Williams, & Berger, 2005); and understanding of and the capability to accept individuals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, general knowledge, critical thinking abilities, and academic and social self-confidence (Chang, Denson, Saenz, & Misa, 2006). Hogan and Mallott (2005) found lowered levels of prejudicial attitudes toward African Americans among students who took a diversity-related course that addressed race or gender. In addition, Antonio (2001) found that racially diverse college campuses tend to provide an educational experience that helps to better prepare students for participation in a democratic society. Thus, students benefit in a number of areas when they have and take the opportunity to engage in CRI.

Chang et al. (2004) argued that institutions can foster CRI among undergraduate students not only by maintaining and providing a racially diverse student population but also by increasing opportunities for students to work and live on campus with one another. They found that this exposure to diversity tends to cause a cognitive disequilibrium or internal incongruity in students that prompts their need to process and evaluate the new information, thus expanding their prior knowledge. Chang (1999) argued that the more diverse a college environment is, the more likely students are to interact cross-racially and to develop cognitively. Multicultural cognitive development was also indicated for European American graduate students who were required to interact with individuals in their community who differed from the student in diverse group-specific factors (e.g., race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, immigrant status; Roysircar, 2004; Roysircar, Gard, Hubbell, & Ortega, 2005). However, although much is known about the benefits of diversity-related activities on college campuses, little is known about what intrapersonal factors (e. …

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