Date of Award

Summer 8-17-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

PhD Counseling Psychology

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Minsun Lee, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christiana Awosan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ben Beitin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pamela Foley, Ph.D.

Keywords

critical consciousness, racial centrality, sociopolitical control, social action, Blacks

Abstract

Black Americans have been engaged in sociopolitical action since their involuntary enslavement in the United States beginning in the 16th century. Blacks have made significant strides in attempting to eradicate and bring awareness to social inequities experienced due to their race. However, not all individuals of African descent engage in sociopolitical behaviors for Black communities. Prior literature has attempted to assess factors that influence Blacks to engage in sociopolitical action but did not examine all the variables assessed in this study in one cohesive model. Therefore, this study aimed to examine Black Americans’ sociopolitical control and their engagement in social action for Black communities. Additionally, racial centrality and critical reflection—perceived inequality and egalitarianism was examined as moderating variables.

The following research questions guided this study: a) Does sociopolitical control predict Black Americans’ engagement in social action for Black communities? b) Does critical reflection – perceived inequality strengthen the relationship between Black Americans’ sociopolitical control and their engagement in social action for Black communities? c) Does critical reflection – egalitarianism strengthen the relationship between Black Americans’ sociopolitical control and their engagement in social action for Black communities? d) Does racial centrality strengthen the relationship between Black Americans’ sociopolitical control and engagement in social action for Black communities? A correlational, cross-sectional, research design was employed to answer the research questions and hypotheses.

The findings of this study indicated that Black Americans with perceived sociopolitical control engage in social action for Black communities. Racial centrality and critical reflection—perceived inequality and egalitarianism did not increase the likelihood Blacks with sociopolitical control engage in social action. However, racial centrality was a predictor of social action. Limitations, implications for future research, and recommendations were discussed.

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