Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Torrey Wilson, PhD

Second Advisor

Susan Zoline, PhD


African American youth are exposed to community violence in varying degrees. Over the last few decades, much research has focused on the negative implications of such exposure. While it is helpful to explore the detrimental effects of community violence on this population, the factors that promote resilience, leading to favorable outcomes, should be explored with just as much fervency. The present study sought to explore the protective factors that contribute to resilience in African American youth exposed to community violence. While resilience is a multidimensional construct, this study focused on the participants’ psychological outlook, namely their sense of hopefulness and future orientation. The specific protective factors examined were internal attributes, racial socialization/identity, and social support. This study highlights the moderating effect that these protective factors have in forming resilience. The study also sought to explore gender differences in resilience levels among African American youth. However, due to the participants’ varying levels of exposure to community violence, which ultimately may also impact their resilience, I was not able to make a conclusive determination of whether one gender displays a higher level of resilience than the other.