Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Danelle Stevens-Watkins


Experiences tied to individual and institutional racism have a long and persistent history of impacting the livelihood of African American people. Some theorists and researchers have argued that African American males have adopted masculine identities that emerged as coping responses to their experiences with racism and oppression (Cunningham, Swanson, & Hayes, 2013; Franklin, 2004; Majors & Bilson, 1992; Spencer, 1995). Younger males, are increasingly demonstrating an exaggerated form of masculinity (hypermasculinity) in response to their environments, particularly those in urban communities, as a coping response (Spencer, Fegley, Harpalani, & Seaton, 2004). The degree to which racial discrimination is related to hypermasculinity is not fully understood. Previous research has demonstrated that strong racial identity and some dimensions of racial socialization can be helpful in mitigating the negative impact of distress related to racial discrimination. In the current study I used Spencer’s (1995) Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST) to examine the relationships among racial discrimination distress, racial identity, racial socialization, and dimensions of hypermasculinity among a sample of 156 African American, male adolescents from predominantly low-income backgrounds. Multiple regression analyses were used to examine the relationships among these variables. Results revealed statistically significant relationships among some dimensions of racial identity, racial socialization, and hypermasculinity. No statistically significant relationships emerged between racial discrimination distress and dimensions of hypermasculinity. Implications for these findings are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Included in

Psychology Commons