Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



School of Social Work

First Advisor

Sandra J. Foster, Ph. D.


The main objective of this study was to discover the level of psychic trauma of slavery among African-American social work students at Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University. The researcher finds it important to learn whether racial attitudes are present that may threaten the social work students’ effective practice with clients of both the dominant and minority society. An exploratory design was used to measure the students’ level of psychic trauma. The Psychic Trauma Test, a 20-question measure, with added demographic questions was offered to social work students for research participation during practicum seminars. The results reveal 50% of students low in psychic trauma, 41% with moderate psychic trauma, and 9% with a damaged trauma level who all study to practice and bring others to a higher level of functioning The significance of this study has significant implications for the practice of social work education. It finds a need to focus on the racial attitudes of social workers who will be helping dominant, and minority populations.