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ERIC Number: ED151463
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Survival Skills: Social Climate and the Development of Adaptive Behavior in Black and White College Students.
Barbarin, Oscar
Although massive efforts were undertaken in the 1960's to recruit and admit minority students to predominantly white institutions of higher education, the number of students successfully completing these programs has remained unchanged. To date, much effort has been spent in attempts to assess how such institutions might alter their current practices to better serve minority populations. It is asserted in this paper that such efforts are doomed to failure unless the processes by which minority students acclimate themselves and develop the skills needed to survive in an alien environment are examined. Models of competent functioning usually focus upon the individual, overlooking the importance of environmental factors in the shaping of adaptive or coping behavior. In a pilot research project described in this paper, the behaviors and attitudes characteristic of competent adaptation to the university are described in the context of total social climate. One hundred black and white undergraduates participated in the study which involved standardized measurement instruments, problem solving, and resource knowledge and utilization. The findings, which relate to positive and negative feedback, social networks, and the utilization of formal and informal resources are presented. Particular ways in which black students adapt to and survive in the predominantly white institutional environment are discussed. (Author/GC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the First National Think Tank on Blacks in Predominantly White Colleges and Universities (September 24-26, 1976) ; May reproduce poorly due to print quality