Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Psychology Dept.


Erin Sheets


The present studies investigated the role of campus climate and discrimination on college students’ mental and physical health. Young adults completed measures that assessed their perceptions of campus climate, sense of belonging, depressive symptoms, anxiety levels, sleep quality, physical health symptoms, and experiences with discrimination. Despite the fact that there were not any differences in physical health or sleep quality, there were significant differences in phycological health, specifically with depressive symptoms. Across both studies, there were significant group differences in mental health, particularly that students of color reported higher levels of depressive symptoms than white students. Having empathetic faculty was the most consistently important aspect of campus climate affecting depressive symptoms. The implications of the psychological consequences and the ways in which administration, faculty, and students can help alleviate the negative impacts of poor perceptions of campus climate and experiences with discrimination on the mental health of students are discussed.


discrimination, health, minority students