Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Yuma I. Tomes, Ph.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

George McCloskey, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Bernard X. James, Ph.D.


For African Americans, issues of discrimination, oppression, and belonging to a minority group may significantly impact their identity formation, and their cognitive and subjective beliefs regarding racial issues. Racism-related stress as it affects African American adolescents has become an area of concern for African American researchers. Racism related stress can be characterized as the negative psychological or physiological response to a perceived instance of a racism related attitude or behavior. African American adolescents, because of their race, continue to be subjected to various social stressors that lead to negative stress that depletes them of their abilities to cope in response. Without the ability to effectively cope with threatening life episodes African American adolescents experience more stressful and negative lifestyles. This study examined: (a) whether there are gender differences with regards to race related stress, (b) the association of SES and race related stress, (c) the association of the type of neighborhood one lives in and race related stress, and (d) the association of which parent(s) the adolescent lives with and race related stress. Independent samples T-tests and Analysis of Variance were conducted to determine if there was a difference in gender with regard to race related stress. A significant difference was found with regards to the overall stress measure, as well as on the individual and collective subscales. Pearson-product moment correlations coefficients were conducted to determine the relations among demographic variables and race related stress. A significant positive relation was found between SES and family dynamic and race related stress.