Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Justin D. McDonald


Historically the absence of American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) students in large scale data sets has made it extremely difficult to adequately describe the growing educational crisis facing AI/AN students (Faircloth, Tippeconnic, John W., I.,II, & University of California, Los Angeles, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto,Derechos Civiles, 2010). The purpose of this study was to address the effect microaggressions, cultural identity, and gender has on learning in a sample of Northern Plains AI college students. AI students attending a predominantly white postsecondary institution were randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups (EMVV, EMSS) or one of two control groups (CVS, CSV). It was hypothesized students in the experimental groups (EMVV, EMSS) who received the microaggression stimuli would have lower scores on a reading comprehension test when compared to the control groups (CVS, CVS) and across three time periods (baseline (trial 1), post-stimuli (trial 2), and post-generic intervention (trial 3)). Finally, cultural identity and gender was expected to affect reading comprehension scores for participants receiving the microaggression stimuli.