Date of Award

12-1-1995

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Sandra E. Taylor, Ph. D.

Second Advisor

C. White

Abstract

Fifty African American graduate students, attending a historically black university in the Southeast, participated in a survey designed to identify common stressors in their lives. The study is based on the Koeske and Koeske (1991) model that is predicated on the notion that individuals perceive certain situations as stressful and can suffer adverse effects due to their stress response. The study’s primaly finding shows that African American students report a high level of stress when dealing with certain life events. Included among these events are divorce, death of loved ones, and career decisions. Despite a high level of stress encountered in dealing with specific events, the study found that the African American graduate students surveyed were able to effectively cope with most of the stressful situations in their lives. Although generalizability is precluded due to the size and composition of the sample, the study suggests that stress is prevalent among graduate students on historically black university campuses. An important implication of the study is the need for programs that counteract stressors leading to attrition. Additionally, the study points to the need for programs that teach stress management and coping skills for African American graduate students attending historically black universities.

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