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An Examination of the Impact Grit, Adaptive and Maladaptive Coping, and Sociodemographics Have on the Experiences of Stereotype Threat in Medical Students

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As students from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds (Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native/Hawaiian Native) in the United States continue to be minorities in the medical education environment and the medical field, the presence of stereotype threat may be a reality to many and a potential internal barrier to success (Bullock et al., 2020). Stereotype threat suggests that stigmatized group members may underperform academically or on tests of ability due to concerns about confirming a negative societal stereotype (Aronson, 1995; Spencer et al., 1999; Steele, 1997). As part of a minoritized group, students from underrepresented backgrounds may feel threatened by majority populations (non-Hispanic White and Asian/Asian American) in medicine and internalize the notion that they cannot perform as well academically (Cheng et al., 2021; Orom et al., 2013). This study explores the impact of grit, adaptive and maladaptive coping skills, and sociodemographics on the experience of stereotype threat in medical students. Stereotype threat can jeopardize academic performance in underrepresented minority populations within healthcare educational systems (Bullock et al., 2016). Low academic performance potentially affects retention and continues inadequate representation of minorities in medicine (Ackerman-Barger et al., 2016). In this quantitative study, a survey was utilized to collect data from students at a medical education institution in the U.S. Northwest. The analysis showcased significant relationships between stereotype threat and grit and stereotype threat and some sociodemographic variables. Keywords: stereotype threat, stereotype threat vulnerably, grit, adaptive coping, maladaptive coping, diverse healthcare workforce, medical students, medical education

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