This research, titled ‘The moderating influence of the strength of racial identity on the relationship between teacher-student racial similarity-dissimilarity and classroom engagement’, was conducted by Md Enamul Kabir, a graduate student in the Department of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato as a requirement for completing a Master of Arts degree in August 2020. The purpose of this quantitative study was to understand how the strength of racial identity moderates the effects of the teacher-student racial similarity and dissimilarity on the engaging behavior of students with their instructors in United States classrooms. This study questioned the prevalent assumption that similarity and dissimilarity predicted the nature of interaction and established the following primary hypothesis: the effect of similarity and dissimilarity in racial identity between teacher and students on the level of classroom engagement will depend on the students’ strength of social identification with race. 114 students participated in an online survey which was administered through Qualtrics. The results showed that the moderating effect was significant, but there was not enough evidence to support the effect at high and low levels of identification.


Deepa Oommen

Committee Member

Laura Jacobi

Committee Member

Kristi Treinen

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Studies


Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.