Biracial students with White heritage are not all alike!
Allison BrckaLorenz–Supporting multiracial college students is increasingly important as the multiracial college student population continues to steadily increase each year. Of particular interest to this research are biracial students with White heritage, who may experience more negative and/or difficult collegiate interactions and perceptions of the campus environment than their biracial counterparts with no White heritage. Scholars have explored how biracial students with White heritage are more apt than their multiracial peers with no White heritage to have their identity and authenticity called into question by peers on campus. While biracial students with White heritage may hold some forms of privilege, one’s White heritage may also carry a degree of stigma influencing students’ interpersonal interactions. This study explores the amount of and relationships between the collegiate interactions of biracial students with White heritage and their perceptions of the college environment.
A recent study of over 33,300 biracial students with White heritage from the 2013-2016 administrations of NSSE at 1,229 institutions looked to 1) examine the interactive engagement and campus perceptions of biracial students with White heritage, 2) look at the relationships between interactive forms of engagement and campus perceptions for biracial students with White heritage, and 3) determine whether that relationship is different for various groups of biracial students with White heritage. Researchers found variation in the patterns of engagement and perceptions for different biracial students with White heritage. The most notable result was that students who identified as Other and White were higher on engagement than average yet lower on their perceptions of the campus environment (see Table below). Relationships between interactive engagement and perceptions of the campus environment were positive with the strongest relationships between student-faculty interaction and perceptions. These relationships varied little between the groups of students.