Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Zewelanji N. Serpell


Many new stressors emerge in college and have a significant impact on college adjustment. However, little is known about common stressors, their causes, and impact on college adjustment for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This project investigated the extent to which different college stressors impact sleep-related college adjustment, and whether racial socialization and emotion regulation strategies serve as coping strategies that moderate this relationship for HBCU students. The theoretical framework for the study was an adapted version of the Integrative Conceptual Model of Adaptive Socialization (ICMAS; Dunbar et al., 2017). Data were collected via an online survey from 187 students attending an HBCU. Participants reported the frequency of their experiences with different college stressors, the types of racial socialization messages they received from their parents, their emotion regulation coping strategies, and their sleep-related college adjustment. Data were analyzed using correlations, hierarchical multiple regressions, and moderation analyses. Results indicated that frustration and self-imposed stressors were the most predominant types of stress experienced by HBCU students. Frustration-related college stress significantly predicted sleep-related college adjustment problems, including problematic sleep habits and negative emotions that prevented adequate sleep. Results also indicate that the only socialization messages that impacted sleep-related college adjustment were mainstream ideals. However, moderation effects were not detected indicating the ICMAS model was not a good fit for the data. Methodological and developmental considerations are discussed, and the importance of future research investigating coping strategies specifically relevant to college students in the culturally affirming context of an HBCU.


© Briana Bouldin (the author)

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Date of Submission