Social adjustment experiences of African American college students

Alan M. Schwitzer, Oris T. Griffin, Julie R. Ancis, Celeste R. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Using qualitative research methods, the authors investigated African American college students' social climate experiences. Results expanded previous research on the college transitions and counseling needs of African Americans in predominantly White campus environments. A descriptive model was constructed that identified 4 features of African American student social adjustment to predominantly White campuses: (1) sense of underrepresentedness, (2) direct perceptions of racism, (3) hurdle of approaching faculty, and (4) effects of faculty familiarity. Counseling implications for preventive programs, developmental interventions, and consultation activities are presented. Advantages and limitations of using qualitative designs to examine African American student issues are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Counseling and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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