Exploring HBCU College Students’ Experiences with Microaggressions and Perceptions of Law Enforcement
Erica Campbell, PhD, MSW
Dominque Elliott, BA
This study explored college students at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) experiences of microaggressions, and their perceptions and attitudes toward law enforcement officers. Microaggressions is a term used to describe subtle and everyday behavioral, social or verbal slights or indignities directed at marginalized communities based on their identity. Past research suggests that microaggressions are commonplace in the life experiences of people of color, however, there is a lack of research examining microaggressions toward students of color. Racial and ethnic microaggressions have been suggested to impact the well-being and self-esteem of college students of color. In particular, the quantitative, pilot study explored which forms of microaggressions (i.e., microassaults, microinsults, or microinvalidations) that students at an HBCU are more likely to encounter when interacting with law enforcement officers. A sample of (N= 83) college undergraduate students completed a survey that included the Perception of Law Enforcement Measurement, the Microaggressions Scale, and a demographic questionnaire. A descriptive analysis was conducted to explore college student’s experiences with racial microaggressions, and perceptions and attitudes of law enforcement officers.