Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph R. Morris

Second Advisor

Dr. Evelyn B. Winfield-Thomas

Third Advisor

Dr. Linwood Cousins


Racial socialization, academic achievement, black college students, African American studies, resilience, counseling psychology


Black college students continue to have difficulties reaching academic success in various domains; however, understanding the nature of how academic success is cultivated by Black college students is vital for counselors, educators, and university administrators. The objective of the study was to understand how racial socialization influenced academic success. Research suggests that racial socialization contributes to positive long-term outcomes among African Americans and may be connected to academic achievement (Bowman & Howard, 1985; Boykin & Tom, 1985; Davis & Stevenson, 2006; Neblett, Terzian, & Harriott, 2010; Stevenson, 1994, 1995). Participants were 349 Black college students from a predominately White institution in the Midwest. They were administered a survey packet, which contained a demographic sheet and measures of racial socialization and resilience. Primary analyses were one-way ANOVA and hierarchical multiple regression.

Five hypotheses were tested with mixed results. Hypothesis 1 found that there were no differences in racial socialization messages based on gender. Hypothesis 2 determined that there was a statistically significant relationship between racial socialization messages transmitted by teachers and friends and academic achievement. Hypothesis 3 suggested that there was no statistically significant relationship between type of racial socialization message transmitted and academic achievement. Hypothesis 4 found that Racial protection messages transmitted by teachers were a statistically significant negative predictor of academic achievement, whereas, racial protection messages transmitted by friends were a statistically significant positive predictor of academic achievement. Hypothesis 5 indicated that resilience did not moderate the relationship between racial socialization and academic achievement. Limitations of study are discussed and implications for future research and practice are recommended.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access