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ERIC Number: ED528809
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 191
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1246-2693-2
An Examination of Black Male First-Generation College Students' Reports of the Social Supports that Have Buffering Effects on Their School-Related Stress and Help Them Achieve Academic Success in College
Harrington, Anthony C.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Hartford
The purpose of this exploratory, case study of Black male first-generation college students at Carthen College was three-fold. First, it was designed to elicit participants' descriptions of the stress they experienced related to school and being a student. Second, the study aimed to describe and then rate how important that source of support was in helping to buffer their school-related stress. Third, the study was designed to obtain interview participants' descriptions of specific stressful situations in which they received support, recalled who gave them the help, identified the kind of help received and revealed how the support was effective. More specifically, the study sought to reveal participants' perceptions of the support that they received from their family, professors, classmates, close-friends or people at this college in helping to buffer their school-related stress. Social support, as described by House (1981), encompasses "an interpersonal transaction involving one or more of the following: (a) emotional concern (liking, love, empathy); (b) instrumental aid (goods or services); (c) information (about the environment); or (d) appraisal (information relevant to self-evaluation)" (p. 39). House's model served as the conceptual framework for this study. A two-method approach was used to answer the research questions; study volunteers were asked to complete a paper-pencil survey and to participate in an in-person interview. Thirteen Black male, first-generation college students from Carthen College participated in the study. Procedures associated with quantitative and qualitative research were used to analyze the data, which consisted of survey data and verbatim transcripts of in-person interviews. This yielded 31 findings. Conclusions were drawn and recommendations for practice and future research are presented. Study participants' reports of the social supports they perceived helped to buffer their school-related stress revealed that professors provided the most support followed by family and close-friends. Participants also revealed that professors were perceived to be their most important source of support. Similarly, family members were perceived to provide the highest level of support for interview participants. Importantly, participants perceived that building relationships with their professor would buffer their school-related stress. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A