Feelings of belongingness and attitudes toward help-seeking for ethnic minority college students at a historically black institution

Gregory Anthony Thompson, Fordham University

Abstract

While research has demonstrated that students of color in predominantly White institutions often report feelings of alienation and threat that interfere with their ability to engage and achieve academic success where their racial/ethnic group status is underrepresented, there is little evidence demonstrating variability in feelings of alienation and threat for students of color within historically Black institutions (HBIs). While their numeric majority status may be seen as protective against feelings of alienation, variability within groups may highlight that the experience of alienation and threat may exist for students of color within HBIs. The goal of the present study was to explore how individual differences in belongingness of students of color at an HBI relate to academic engagement and health and well-being--namely, their comfort and likelihood of seeking help from academic and mental health sources and for academic and mental health issues. Archival data were used from a cross-sectional survey dataset of first-year college students admitted to an urban HBI college. Findings indicate that the sense of belonging students of color felt within the HBI significantly predicted their comfort with and likelihood of seeking help from both academic (e.g., professors and deans), mental health (e.g., counseling center) sources, and for academic issues (e.g., procrastination). Yet, students' sense of belonging did not predict their likelihood of seeking help for interpersonal problems from mental health resources. The implications of these findings for educational administration and intervention are discussed.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Counseling

Recommended Citation

Gregory Anthony Thompson, "Feelings of belongingness and attitudes toward help-seeking for ethnic minority college students at a historically black institution" (January 1, 2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3487575.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3487575

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