Home » Publications » Unpacking Young Adults' Experiences of Race- and Gender-Based Microaggressions

Unpacking Young Adults' Experiences of Race- and Gender-Based Microaggressions

Midgette, A. J., & Mulvey, K. L.

From the abstract: "To date the majority of the research on microaggressions has focused on the experiences of targets, rather than the perpetrators, of microaggresive behaviors. The present study set out to investigate 278 college students' (Mage = 19.12, SD = 1.34, 52.52% cisgender women, 74.82% European American) reported types of experience (a) unaware, b) aware, c) observer, d) perpetrator, and e) target) with race- and gender-based microaggressive behaviors and the association between their experiences and ambivalent sexist and color-blind racial attitudes. Participants completed an online survey composed of a modified Racial and Ethnic Microaggression Scale (REMS), a modified Female Microaggression Scale (FMS), an Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, and a Color-Blind Racial Attitudes Scale. As hypothesized, participants were more likely to have heard of or seen than to report having been the target or perpetrator of microaggressions. In support of our second hypothesis, significant gender and race differences were found in the frequencies of type of exposure to microaggressions. Finally, as expected, exposure to microaggressions was associated with color-blind and ambivalent sexist attitudes. Unexpectedly, however, complete unawareness of the existence of microaggressions was not associated with social attitudes. This study's findings highlight the importance of unpacking social experiences of discrimination to better understand what types of experiences contribute to being critical of and reducing the commission of microaggressions."


Midgette, A. J., & Mulvey, K. L. (2021). Unpacking young adults' experiences of race- and gender-based microaggressions. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38(4), 1350-1370. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407521988947