Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

School Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Anisa N. Goforth

Commitee Members

Duncan Campbell, Greg Machek, David Schuldberg, Annie Belcourt


Depression, Microaggressions, Native Americans, School Psychology, School-Based Microaggressions, Social Justice


University of Montana


Native Americans continue to experience higher than average prevalence rates of mental health disorders, including depression. Current research on the risk factors for the development of mental health disorders among Native Americans suggests that the experience of prejudice is strongly correlated with the diagnosis of mental health disorders. Despite this knowledge, there is a current gap in the literature examining relationship between the experience of prejudice in schools and the development of mental health disorders for Native Americans. Given this dearth of research as well the importance of understanding the mental health needs of Native Americans, this research study examined the relationship between the retrospective recall of school-based racial microaggressions and depression. Using a sample of Native American college students aged 18-25 currently attending school at either the University of Montana or Salish Kootenai College, this study examined the relationship between perceived experiences of microaggressions in the high school setting as measured by the School Based Racial Microaggressions Subscale (SB-REMA) and the development of depression in adulthood as measured by both the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8). Overall, participants reported experiences of microaggressions in high school were found to significantly predict their current levels of depression using the CES-D. But, there were no significant predictive associations found between participant's reported experiences of microagressions in the high school setting and their current levels of depression using the PHQ-8.


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