The Impact Of Trauma On The Academic Performance Of African American Students At A Public Historically Black College
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentAdvanced Studies, Leadership, and Policy
ProgramDoctor of Education
RightsThis item is made available by Morgan State University for personal, educational, and research purposes in accordance with Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Other uses may require permission from the copyright owner.
SubjectsUniversities and colleges
African American universities and colleges
Experiencing a singular or continuous traumatic event can have a long-term impact on the socio-emotional development and academic performance of students from at-risk communities. There is a dearth of research, which examines how traumatic events affect African American students who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). African Americans are more likely to experience a traumatic event in comparison to other subgroups including Asians, Hispanics, and Whites. The intent of this quantitative research study was to determine whether there is a correlation between trauma exposure rates and academic performance for sample of undergraduate students who attend a public HBCU. The Trauma History Questionnaire (THQ) measured exposure to trauma, frequency of the exposure, and age of exposure. Academic performance was measured by students' self-reported cumulative grade point averages. A total of 2,000 undergraduate students were randomly selected for participation in this study. Approximately 227 African American undergraduate students participated in the study. The findings suggested that: (a) participants were exposed to a variety of traumas, with exposure to death and natural disasters being the most prevalent; (b) there is no relationship between the six measures of trauma and college grade point average; and (c) none of the six measures of trauma were predictive of college grade point average. The study includes recommendations for HBCU administrators, faculty, and counseling centers.