Understanding meaning and racial prejudice: Examining self-transcendence and psychological inflexibility in a sample of White college students (Pages 1-6)

Volume 12, April 2019, Pages 1-6

Ivonne Andrea Florez, Stefan E. Schulenberg, Elicia C. Lair, Kelly G. Wilson, and Kirk A. Johnson

Recent research suggests that meaning in life relates to processes of social judgments and could facilitate relationships between racially diverse individuals. At this time however, there is no study that examines factors that influence the relationship between meaning, racial prejudice, and values. To fill this gap, the present study examined whether (1) self-transcendence and (2) psychological inflexibility mediates the relationship between perceived meaning in life and prejudice. The study was conducted with 253 White students (females, 77.9%; males, 22.1%) from a university located in the southern United States. Standard path-analytic approaches through the macro PROCESS program were used to examine a parallel mediational model. Results evidenced that self-transcendence and psychological inflexibility had a significant indirect effect on the relationship between meaning in life and prejudice, and that reversely, meaning also functioned as a mediator of self-transcendence and prejudice and psychological inflexibility and prejudice. Findings suggest that among White college students the effect of meaning on prejudice changes in the context of self-transcendence and psychological inflexibility, and that without self-transcendence and psychological flexibility, meaning could actually result in greater prejudice.

This article is restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.