Thursday, March 9, 2017

Literature Review #2


Wester, Kelly L., and Heather C. Trepal. "Nonsuicidal Self-Injury: Exploring the Connection
Among Race, Ethnic Identity, and Ethnic Belonging." Journal of College Student
Development 56.2 (2015): 127-39. Web.


This reading is about searching for reasons why another racial group might engage in NSSI over another one. The study researched the possibility that a weak sense of ethnic belonging may correlate with a higher level of NSSI in higher education. The samples were taken out of two colleges with similar population demographics and conducted through a survey sent over email. 


Kelly L. Wester is an Associate Professor in Counseling and Educational Development at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She received a PhD from Kent State University - MA, in Counseling and Human Development with a concentration on self-injury. Heather C. Trepal has the same education as Wester but works as an Associate Professor in Counseling and Educational Development at the University of Texas, San Antonio. 


Ethnic IdentityOne's sense of belonging to an ethnic group and the part of one's thinking, perceptions, feelings, and behavior that is due to ethnic group membership.  

Protective Factors  Conditions or attributes (skills, strengths, resources, supports or coping strategies) in individuals, families, communities or the larger society that help people deal more effectively with stressful events and mitigate or eliminate risk in families and communities.


Caucasian students typically have lower levels of ethnic belonging, and have been found to be statistically more likely to engage in NSSI than African Americans and Asian Americans— both of these groups have higher levels of sense of belonging (Wester & Trepal 133). 

Sense of belonging and connection did not fully explain ethnic differences in self-harm behavior, but the interaction between sense of belonging and other contextual factors (e.g., socioeconomic status) did fully mediate the relationship  (Wester & Trepal 134).

Explicitly, Hispanic students reported higher levels of belonging than Caucasian and Multiracial/Other students, but also reported similar rates of NSSI engagement (Wester & Trepal 135).


Although, Hispanic students were an outlier in this study it still showed a correlation between a strong sense of ethnic belonging and lower levels of NSSI. The study also proved that that caucasian and hispanic students are the most likely to engage in NSSI in higher education which is very important for identifying what type of student is at the most risk. I believe I can use this article to show that while ethnicity plays a small role in NSSI it still is a contributing factor when coupled with stress and socioeconomic background.  






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