Racism-Related Stress and Ethnic Identity as Determinants of African American College Students' Career Aspirations

Drawing primarily on the construct of psychological buffer, the purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which racism-related stress and ethnic identity are determinants of career aspirations. A total of 163 African American college students from a predominately White Midwestern university participated in the study. A moderation regression analysis was conducted. Results indicate that ethnic identity interacted with racism-related stress (p = .04) to predict career aspirations. In other words, as racism-related stress increases in the context of low identity development, career aspirations decrease. Conversely, as perceived racism increases in the context of high identity development, career aspirations increase. Implications for professionals and future research in the field of career counseling are discussed. Keyword: African American, career aspirations, ethnic identity, racism-related stress.

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