Relations among racial identity attitudes, perceived stressors, and coping styles in African American college students

Helen A. Neville, P. Paul Heppner, Li Fei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)


This study expanded on previous research with African American college students at predominantly White institutions by examining the theoretically relevant but unexplored relations among racial identity attitudes and (a) both general and culture-specific stressors and (b) problem-focused coping styles. Ninety African American college students at a predominantly White university completed the Black Racial Identity Attitudes Scale, Black Student Stress Inventory, Problem Solving Inventory, and Problem-Focused Style of Coping Scale. A series of multivariate regression analyses revealed that specific racial identity attitudes were statistically significant predictors of both general and culture-specific stressors. In addition, one racial identity attitude status (immersion/emersion) was a unique predictor of general perceived stressors and problem solving. Results suggest the importance of racial identity schemata as a critical factor in predicting stress and coping responses of African American students at predominantly White institutions. The findings also underscore the utility in distinguishing between general and culture-specific stressors, which traditionally have been ignored in the psychological literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Counseling and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

Cite this