Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Specialization

Clinical Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Paul Florin

Abstract

Previous research findings have indicated that there continues to be an increased need to assess the impact of neighborhood and community factors on educational outcomes for Black Americans. When investigating neighborhood factors for this population, two understudied variables are perceptions of trust in neighborhood police and collective socialization, particularly in examining their impact on academic outcomes. Furthermore, it is unclear how Black racial identity interacts with the effects of these perceived neighborhood factors on educational outcomes. The present study attempted to add to the literature by exploring how the interaction of racial identity and perceived neighborhood factors impact how Black American young adults view educational success as a means to personal success and well-being (academic utility values). Using a community sample of 298 Black American young adults from across the country, this study measured whether racial identity (i.e., Black centrality, Black private regard and Black public regard) moderated the effect of two different perceived neighborhood factors (i.e., neighborhood police or collective socialization) on academic utility values. This interaction was measured using two hierarchical multiple regression models. The study also assessed whether reports of neighborhood factors and aspects of racial identity differed based on educational attainment using two multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) models.

Results found a negative association between perception of neighborhood police and academic utility values and a positive association between perception of collective socialization and academic utility values. However, results differed from expectations, as racial identity did not moderate the effects of these neighborhood factors on academic utility values. Also, participants with some college or more did not report more positive perceptions of neighborhood factors or overall difference in racial identity characteristics. Study limitations, implications and future directions are discussed.

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