Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Kenneth R. Newton

Committee Members

Harold J. Fine, Thomas W. George, John W. Lounsbury


The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate whether minority students, regardless of race, experienced more common emotional stressors, and had more similar behavior and attitudes toward integration than their racial counterparts enrolled in institutions where they were in the racial minority. This goal was accomplished by studying 289 subjects from the following student groups: black minority students (48), white minority students (65), black majority students (90), white majority students (86). Minority status was assigned to black and white students who attended a university where students of a different race from their own were predominant; majority status was assigned to black and white students enrolled in universities where their own race was predominant. The variables of interest in this study were depression, alienation, social isolation, attitudes toward integration and behavioral interaction with students of a different race. In addition, the length of time spent in the university was hypothesized to have an effect on these variables.

The results of this study showed that the minority and majority black student groups were more similar to each other than they were to their white minority and majority counterparts. That is, black students in one setting (regardless of minority or majority status) were more like black students in another setting and white student in one setting (regardless of minority or majority status) were more like white students in another setting. In contrast to the hypothesized relationships between variables, black students regardless of their minority/majority status, also seemed more adept at coping with their university environments ( e.g. they felt less isolated and alienated) and had more positive racial attitudes than did white students. In addition, the results for white minority students looked very similar to the results reported for black minority student in previous research undertaken during the 1960's and 1970's. These findings suggest the need for further research on the psychological impact of minority status on black and white to provide psychologist, educators and other social scientist with valuable information which can help insure that all students have greater opportunities for achieving academic and social success in college.

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