Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Victoria Follette

Second Advisor

Felipa Chavez

Third Advisor

Catherine Nicholson

Fourth Advisor

Robert Taylor


In the current study, we examined the impact of cumulative trauma, racial trauma, and everyday discrimination experiences within the African American community on psychological outcomes. One hundred and nineteen participants completed a series of self-report measures that analyzed their experiences of lifetime stressors, racial trauma, frequency of everyday discrimination, current posttraumatic stress disorder, depressive symptoms, and experiential avoidance levels. It was hypothesized that increased exposure to lifetime stressors, racial trauma events or experiences, and everyday discrimination would be associated with increased psychological distress. Correlations were conducted to identify and examine these relationships. This hypothesis was supported for lifetime stressor exposure and events or experiences with racial trauma. Additionally, it was hypothesized that the cumulative impact of life stressors and racial trauma events or experiences will negatively impact psychological distress and posttraumatic stress disorder. Multiple regressions were conducted to examine this interaction. This hypothesis was supported for life stressors on psychological distress and for life stressors and racial trauma on posttraumatic stress disorder. Furthermore, the implications for the findings and the future directions for further research are discussed.


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