Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Doctoral Project


Kerry Frank; Consuelo Cavalieri


This study examined the help seeking behaviors of African American emerging adults attending a predominantly Caucasian university in the Midwest. Facets considered included one’s racial ethnic cultural identity, level of cultural mistrust, preference for counselor race, use of close relationships for support and attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help. Qualitative inquiry was employed to explore the nature of help seeking interactions with friends, peers, family and the university system. Interviewees included a cohort pool represented by eight females and one male of the African American student body, all of which were interviewed by the primary researcher, a Caucasian female. All nine interviews were transcribed by the primary researcher and then processed by a research team consisting of two Caucasian females and one African American male resulting in seven categories and 26 subcategories. Implications of the findings are discussed and recommendations for university counseling centers provided.


emerging adult, African American, REC identity, covering, cultural mistrust, help seeking, preference for counselor race, intersectionality

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.