Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Lahnna Catalino

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© 2017 Clarisse Salazar


Latinas in college are systematically disadvantaged and face many unique stressors and adversities such as race-related discrimination and family stress; however, perceived availability of social support has been shown to have positive effects on students, such as positively influencing adjustment and academic persistence. In an effort to determine what factors help Latinas thrive in college, an experimental study with a 2x2 factorial design is proposed to investigate if in the face of adversity, does peer support/community preserve the thriving of Latinas in college. Community is defined by sense of membership and validation, and both will be manipulated in the in-lab community experience through a confederate (race of the confederate x support offered). The results are expected to show that main effects in the influence of validation on thriving and main effects in the influence of sense of membership on thriving. Furthermore, an interaction is predicted such that the effect of being validated depends on whether or not the confederate is Latina. It is also predicted that participants will feel a higher sense of communality with Latina students than Latinx students. The proposed study works to add to the small body of literature that highlights ways to help underrepresented students in higher education, rather than simply investigating factors that work to their detriment. The implications of the research are to work to legitimize community as a form of self-care and support, so that institutions help foster and support Latina communities on college campuses.