Virtual Environments, Online Racial Discrimination, and Adjustment among a Diverse, School-Based Sample of Adolescents
Tynes, B.M.; Rose, C.A.; Hiss, S.; Umaña-Taylor, A.J.; Mitchell, K.; Williams, D.
International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations 6(3): 1-16
Given the recent rise in online hate activity and the increased amount of time adolescents spend with media, more research is needed on their experiences with racial discrimination in virtual environments. This cross-sectional study examines the association between amount of time spent online, traditional and online racial discrimination and adolescent adjustment, including depressive symptoms, anxiety and externalizing behaviors. The study also explores the role that social identities, including race and gender, play in these associations. Online surveys were administered to 627 sixth through twelfth graders in K-8, middle and high schools. Multiple regression results revealed that discrimination online was associated with all three outcome variables. Additionally, a significant interaction between online discrimination by time online was found for externalizing behaviors indicating that increased time online and higher levels of online discrimination are associated with more problem behavior. This study highlights the need for clinicians, educational professionals and researchers to attend to race-related experiences online as well as in traditional environments.