A preliminary exploration of education values, distress, and acceptance among self-identified white and non-white incoming college freshmen at a private university

Jose Arauz, Sara B. Danitz, Susan M. Orsillo, & Lisa W. Coyne

This exploratory study examined factors that contribute to psychological distress within racial majority and minority undergraduate students. Using a dataset obtained from a larger study (Danitz, Suvak, & Orsillo, 2016), we explored the relationship between acceptance, academic values, and psychological distress across these two groups. Participants included 186 undergraduate students (71.5% self-identified as White) enrolled in a private urban university located in the northeastern U.S. Results revealed no significant differences in psychological distress or acceptance across majority/minority groups. Racial majority students who endorsed higher acceptance and educational values reported psychological well-being, although this relationship was less robust in minority students. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

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