The mediating and moderating role of student-professor interaction on the relationship between cultural mistrust and academic self-concept among African American college students
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Research indicates that cultural mistrust can have negative impact on academic attitudes and outcomes for Black American students. However, few studies have specifically investigated the role that cultural mistrust has on student's academic self-concept, or perceptions of their academic abilities. Further, no study has explored to what degree student's perceptions of interpersonal relationships with faculty can impact the link between cultural mistrust and academic outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of cultural mistrust in education and training and interpersonal relationships on academic self-concept in a population of undergraduate Black American students enrolled at a predominately white university. Secondarily, the study sought to examine whether aspects of student-professor interaction, specifically faculty approachability, caring attitude, and connection, mediate or moderate the effect of cultural mistrust on academic self-concept. Results of this study show that faculty approachability and caring attitude mediate the effect of the interpersonal relationships sub domain on academic self-concept. Student-professor interaction did not moderate the relationship between cultural mistrust and academic self-concept. Results support the need to facilitate and encourage positive student-faculty interactions with Black American university students. Perhaps mentoring initiatives could aim to foster positive interactions with students and promote the recruitment and retention efforts of African American faculty members.