Sensitivity to Status-Based Rejection: Implications for African American Students' College Experience

Publication Date:
Jan 2002
Project Programs:
Cultural Contact

The authors proposed a process model whereby experiences of rejection based on membership in a devalued group can lead people to anxiously expect, readily perceive, and intensely react to status-based rejection. To test the model, the authors focused on race-based rejection sensitivity (RS-race) among African Americans. Following the development and validation of the RS-Race Questionnaire (Studies 1 and 2), the authors tested the utility of the model for understanding African American students' experiences at a predominantly White university (Study 3). Students high in RS-race experienced greater discomfort during the college transition, less trust in the university, and relative declines in grades over a 2- to 3-year period. Positive race-related experiences, however, increased feelings of belonging at the institution among students high in RS-race. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)


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