Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Elvin Gabriel

Second Advisor

Carole Woolford-Hunt

Third Advisor

Tevni Grajales



Stereotype threat is something that has plagued the African-American community for decades. However, there is no direct research on the protective factors that could mitigate or exacerbate the effects of stereotype threat on African-Americans. The present study is intended to focus on the relationship between family satisfaction, racial identity, perceived ethnic discrimination and African-American college students’ vulnerability to stereotype threat.


This study used the Family Satisfaction Scale (FSS), The Black Racial Identity Attitude Scale (BRIAS), The Perceived Ethnic Discrimination Questionnaire (PEDQ) and the Stereotype Confirmation Concern Scale (SCCS) to explore the relationships between the four variables. A structural equation model was developed to examine the theoretical model to the empirical model developed from collected data. Four hundred and twenty African-American college students in the United States general population were used for this study.


The original structural equation model suggested a poor fit with the collected data. The revised model eliminated some pathways and included additional paths based on theory found in the literature. The revised model showed an excellent fit with the data. There were significant relationships between perceived ethnic discrimination (PED), family satisfaction (FS) and stereotype threat. Black racial identity (BRI) was not correlated to stereotype threat in the final model but had a significant relationship with PED. The adjusted model accounted for 78% of variance for Stereotype threat.


The respecified model, based on the hypothesized theoretical model, was supported by findings from this study. The contribution of PED, BRI and FS were validated through statistical significance. The findings indicate that PED and FS have a direct relationship with African-American college students’ vulnerability to stereotype threat. While BRI has an indirect relationship with stereotype threat through PED. These findings have implications for the field of counseling psychology, education, and society’s understanding of protective factors that can impact and mitigate the vulnerability to stereotype threat in the African-American community.

Subject Area

Stereotypes (Social psychology); Race discrimination; African American college students--Race identity; African American families; Vulnerability (Personality trait)