Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carol Freedman-Doan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Heather C. Janisse, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pamela Martin, Ph.D.


The current study explored perceived racism, mental health, and coping to see how those concepts might influence how African American students evaluate their college experiences. Additionally, this study explored how school environment (i.e., predominantly White institution [PWI] vs. historically Black college/university [HBCU]) impacted the hypotheses. All participants completed an online questionnaire. Findings for the key hypotheses of this study were mixed. For example, regardless if African American students attended a PWI or HBCU, they were both likely to report similar experiences of perceived racism and negative affect. Despite these and a few other relevant hypotheses not being supported, two significant findings were uncovered. Specifically, African American students at the HBCU were found to utilize more Africultural-based coping behaviors compared to African American students at the PWI. Also, contrary to my hypothesis, endorsement of public regard attitudes was higher at the HBCU compared to the PWI. Implications and future directions are discussed.