The Effects of Everyday Discrimination on the Mental Health of Muslim Students at Duke University

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2019-04-10

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Abstract

This thesis seeks to elucidate the relationship between experiences of discrimination and mental health state among the Muslim population at Duke. In the first chapter, I argue that although the negative relationship between experiences of discrimination and mental health has been widely supported in minority racial groups, there remains a dearth in the literature on this topic in minority religious groups. The Muslim population in the U.S. is particularly vulnerable to experiences of discrimination given the Muslim religious identity has been racialized by the American public. In the second chapter, I give an overview of Duke’s relationship to the Methodist Church and a timeline of Duke’s relationship with its minority student population. Ultimately, university records teach us that the Muslim community at Duke has met harsh discrimination and lack of institutional support. The third chapter of this thesis includes interviews with four integral members of Duke’s Muslim population throughout the years to illuminate what it means to be Muslim at Duke. Finally, the fourth chapter presents the research I conducted this semester. I surveyed experiences of discrimination and rates of depressive and anxious symptomology among the current Muslim student population at Duke. Significant, positive correlations were found between anxiety and discrimination and anxiety and depression. These findings beg university reform including increased support for Duke’s Muslim student population.

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Citation

Nevid, Daniella (2019). The Effects of Everyday Discrimination on the Mental Health of Muslim Students at Duke University. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19027.


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