Spectra Undergraduate Research Journal


Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences > Liberal Arts > Psychology


October 19, 2020


January 18, 2021


February 26, 2021


Mirella S. Jasso (MSJ)¹*, Paul Nelson (PN)¹, Bradley Donohue (BD)¹, Michelle Strong (MS)¹, Joanna Kepka (JK)², and Daniel N. Allen (DNA)¹

Author Affiliations

¹Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA.

²Honors College, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA.

Corresponding Author

*Mirella S. Jasso, jassom1@unlv.nevada.edu

Author Contributions

MSJ: Contributed to the research with conception, drafting the manuscript, statistical analysis, and interpretation and implications of the results

PN: Contributed to the drafting, revising the manuscript critically, contributed to the theoretical orientations, organization of the manuscript, statistical analyses, interpretation of the results, and approval of the version to be published

BD: Contributed to the research design with conception, research design, planning, revising, and providing final approval of the version to be published

MS: Contributed to the conception, planning, data collection, and statistical analysis of this research project

JK: Contributed to the manuscript by revising the manuscript critically for conception and/or grammatical errors and providing approval for the final defense presentation of this research project from the University of Nevada, Honors College for passing grade for the Research and Creative Honors Program

DNA: Contributed to the conception and planning of the research project, as well as the final approval of the defense presentation of this research project as a member of the Honor Thesis committee

Data Availability Statement

The authors of this article confirm that all data underlying the findings are fully available without restrictions.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical Considerations

This study was approved by the UNLV Institutional Review Board for use of human subjects. No adverse consequences were expected as a result of participating in the study.


This research was made possible by grants to Bradley Donohue (PI) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA; 1 R01 DA031828), and by scholarships provided to Mirella S. Jasso from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas McNair Scholars Institute and the Nevada Regents Service Program.


This study aims to (1) examine differences between Ethnic Majority (European American) and Ethnic Minority (African American, Latina/o, Asian/Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Other) student athletes’ ratings of importance of their Ethnic Culture, (2) examine differences in the importance of Sport Culture among NCAA and Recreational (i.e., Club and Intramural) student athletes, and (3) determine if Ethnic Identification and Athlete Type interact to predict the importance of Ethnic Culture and Sport Culture. Student athletes were asked to fill out a demographic questionnaire, and then rate the importance of several cultural domains (i.e. Ethnic Culture and Sport Culture) using a novel measure, the Cultural Domain Menu (CDM). After a descriptive analysis was performed, Analysis of Variances (ANOVA) and several t-tests were conducted to test differences among Ethnic Majority and Ethnic Minority student athletes in the importance of their Ethnic and Sport Cultures. Findings demonstrated a significant difference between Ethnic Majority and Ethnic Minority student athletes’ ratings of the importance of their Ethnic Culture: Ethnic Majority ratings were found to be lower compared to Ethnic Minority student athletes. Results also showed a significant difference between NCAA and Recreational student athletes in their ratings of their Sport Culture: NCAA student athletes were found to rank their Sport Culture as more salient. Implications, limitations, and future directions for this study are discussed in regard to the results. These results serve as a great indicator of the mental health issues of importance when aiming to serve student athletes from different backgrounds.


Cultural salience, Student athletes, Ethnic culture, College students, NCAA, Club sports, Intramural sports, Recreational sports, Sport culture, Identity salience

Submission Type

Primary research article