Psychology Cannot Afford to Ignore the Many Harms Caused by Microaggressions

  title={Psychology Cannot Afford to Ignore the Many Harms Caused by Microaggressions},
  author={Monnica T. Williams},
  journal={Perspectives on Psychological Science},
  pages={38 - 43}
In an ongoing debate, Scott Lilienfeld (2019) continues to question the merits and meaning of microaggressions research. Key issues include how to define microaggressions, whether microaggressions cause measurable harm, whether microaggression education is helpful, and defining the most important next steps in the microaggressions research agenda. I discuss the importance of understanding microaggressions in context and as they relate to pathological stereotypes about groups, given that this is… 

Racial Microaggressions: Critical Questions, State of the Science, and New Directions

  • Monnica T. Williams
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2021
The developmental entry points leading to the inception of racial bias in children are discussed and theoretical issues are explored, including the measurement of intersectional microaggressions and the power dynamics underpinning arguments designed to discredit the nature of racial microAGgressions.

Reviewing Racial Microaggressions Research: Documenting Targets’ Experiences, Harmful Sequelae, and Resistance Strategies

Empirical findings on collective, resistance, and self-protective strategies to mitigate the harmful impact of racial microaggressions are described.

How Microaggressions Reinforce and Perpetuate Systemic Racism in the United States

There is considerable evidence—from both empirical studies and real-world examples—that microaggressions contribute to the maintenance of systems of racial oppression in the United States.

Focusing the Lens to See More Clearly: Overcoming Definitional Challenges and Identifying New Directions in Racial Microaggressions Research

  • Y. MekawiNathan R. Todd
  • Biology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2021
It is asserted that racial microaggressions are observable events that occur independently of intention or impact and can have different meanings on the basis of situational context and a refinement and expansion of racial microaggression taxonomies are proposed.

Microaggressions: Mega problems or micro issues? A meta-analysis.

While research on microaggressions has accumulated in recent decades, doubts have arisen over their impact on individuals. Hence, the purpose of this study was to analyze the relations between

Understanding aggression and microaggressions by and against people of colour

Abstract Efforts to understand racial microaggressions have focused on the impact on targets, but few studies have examined the motivations and characteristics of offenders, and none has examined

A qualitative study of microaggressions against African Americans on predominantly White campuses

How Black college students’ experiences correspond to or differ from the microaggression types originally proposed by Sue et al. is explored to better allow for improved understanding and measurement of this important construct.

The Measurement and Structure of Microaggressive Communications by White People Against Black People

Previous research on microaggressions has emphasized the frequency of and distress produced by microaggressions as reported by people of color. The current research supplements the existing

Microaggressions, Intersectional Assumptions, and the Unnoticed Burdens of Racialized College Life for Brown and Black Students at a PWI

While American education is often considered a meritocratic institution, race acts as a structuring agent (Delgado and Stefancic 2001), creating palpably different race-based experiences and



Microaggressions: Clarification, Evidence, and Impact

  • Monnica T. Williams
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2019
It is shown that, in contrast to the claim that the concept of microaggressions is vague and inconsistent, the term is well defined and can be decisively linked to individual prejudice in offenders and mental-health outcomes in targets.

Disarming racial microaggressions: Microintervention strategies for targets, White allies, and bystanders.

A new strategic framework developed for addressing microaggressions is introduced that moves beyond coping and survival to concrete action steps and dialogues that targets, allies, and bystanders can perform (microinterventions).


  • S. Lilienfeld
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2017
The microaggression concept has recently galvanized public discussion and spread to numerous college campuses and businesses. I argue that the microaggression research program (MRP) rests on five

Racial microaggressions in everyday life: implications for clinical practice.

Almost all interracial encounters are prone to microaggressions; this article uses the White counselor--client of color counseling dyad to illustrate how they impair the development of a therapeutic alliance.

Microaggression Research and Application: Clarifications, Corrections, and Common Ground

  • S. Lilienfeld
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2019
Although several of Williams’s recommendations for MRP research are worth considering, it is contended that some others are unlikely to be conducive to a scientific approach to microaggressions.

How to Take Offense: Responding to Microaggression

  • Regina A. Rini
  • Psychology
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association
  • 2018
Abstract A microaggression is a small insulting act made disproportionately harmful by its part in an oppressive pattern of similar insults. How should you respond when made the victim of a

Associations Between Microaggression and Adjustment Outcomes: A Meta-Analytic and Narrative Review

Microaggression was relatively more strongly associated with internalizing problems, stress/negative affect, and positive affect/adjustment than with externalizing problems and physical symptoms, and adjustment outcomes were more closely linked to interpersonalmicroaggression than group microaggression, and to microassault than microinsult and microinvalidation.

Racism, College, and the Power of Words

Based on interview data from a collective case study, this article uses current notions of racial microaggressions to explore this “subtle” racism through the voices of six Latino/a students as they

Cultural humility and racial microaggressions in counseling.

Examination of the occurrence of racial microaggressions in counseling using a large and diverse sample and the association between perceived cultural humility of the counselor and racial microagggressions found client-perceived cultural humility was associated with fewer microagressions experienced in counseling.

Racial microaggression experiences and coping strategies of Black women in corporate leadership.

The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of racial microaggressions in the workplace and coping strategies of Black women managers in corporate American positions. Semi-structured