Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Major

Psychology

Research Sponsor

Amber Hewitt, Ph.D.

First Reader

Suzette Speight, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Aiesha Motley

Abstract

The premise of this research examined the relationship between critical consciousness and subjective well-being in college aged men and women between 18-25 years old. Critical consciousness is the ability to critically evaluate forms of oppression and privilege, as well as actively seeking to implement change. Past research has found that forms of oppression can impact ones thoughts, behaviors, and worldview. Subjective well-being pertains to one’s personal outlook on their level of happiness. The hypothesis states that lower levels of critical consciousness will be negatively related to well-being, while higher levels of critical consciousness will be positively related to well-being. Examining scores from the Critical Consciousness Inventory (CCI), a nine-item scale, was used to assess critical consciousness. The scores that participants received ranged from the pre-critical stage (individuals are oblivious to oppression and inequality), beginning critical stage (individuals begin to recognize oppression and inequality), critical stage (individuals have a solid sense of critical consciousness), and post critical stage (individuals take action in response to oppression and inequality). Subjective well-being was conceptualized according to participants’ scores from the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), the Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE) and the Flourishing Scale (FS). The results were analyzed using a multiple regression framework, in which levels of critical consciousness did not adequately influence ones rating of subjective well-being. The effect of critical consciousness on subjective well-being is discussed in order to advance future research in this area.

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