Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Shawn Jones


In addition to universal stressors, Black adolescents also experience racism-related stressors. The physical and emotional consequences of racism-related stressors can be harmful to Black youth. To mitigate racism-related stress, Black youth may engage in various forms of coping. Critical consciousness and racial socialization are culturally relevant factors that have been protective against the negative impact of racism-related stress, with coping as one mechanism that undergirds this protection. Moreover, research has also begun to theorize critical action as a type of racialized coping. Past research has largely examined the impact of critical consciousness and racial socialization on coping separately and yielded mixed results in examining critical action as coping. The present study aimed to further our understanding of how RS messages and perceived inequality (i.e., critical reflection) impact Black adolescents' coping in response to RRS. First, a series of factor analyses were conducted to establish specific subscales of coping in the current sample. In addition, critical action was examined as a unique coping response. Hypotheses were tested using three-step hierarchical linear regressions. Findings suggested that 1) a higher report of egalitarian messages was associated with a higher endorsement of engaged coping and 2) a higher reported negative RS message was associated `with substance use coping, humor coping, and critical action. In addition, findings support the literature theorizing Black adolescents’ use of critical action as coping. Implications of RS messaging for Black adolescents and parents are discussed in addition to considerations for Black adolescent critical consciousness development.


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