Curry's Josipa Roksa discusses research on negative diversity experiences in Inside Higher Ed article.
Amid all the literature about the merits of college diversity, an important trend is often overlooked, according to a new study in The Journal of Higher Education. Although more students report having positive experiences by studying and living with those from different racial, religious, political, gender and ethnic groups, negative experiences are fairly common, too -- and they can impair student learning and cognitive development, according to the study.
Most research in this area has identified positive or neutral diversity experiences, but because of that, it clearly ignores an important dimension of the diversity experience, said Josipa Roksa, lead author of the study and a professor of sociology and education at the University of Virginia. Her study tries to fill that void.
In exploring how often students have a bad experience with someone of a different background and what the repercussions of those bad experiences are, the authors are not critiquing diversity itself, Roksa said. They are instead critiquing the way colleges prepare their students to embrace diversity.