Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Winston Seegobin, PsyD

Second Advisor

Mary Peterson, PhD

Third Advisor

Carlos Taloyo, PhD


Notions of what it means to be a leader are evolving as America becomes more accepting of perspectives purported by minoritized individuals. Psychologists are often well positioned to be leaders in their professional settings; most are equipped with a multifaceted skillset which enables them to effectively evaluate people and situations to provide valuable insight and direction across different professional contexts and situations. The present study seeks to understand the leadership qualities of Black psychologists by examining their conceptualization of their social identities and lived experiences, as proposed by Chin and Trimble (2015).

The present research follows a qualitative grounded theory methodology. A convenience sampling method was used to recruit 10 Black psychologists from across the country, with half (5) male-identified and half (5) female-identified individuals. Volunteers interviewed in person, over the phone, or via video call (e.g., Skype or FaceTime). After giving consent to participate and audio record the interview, volunteers took part in a semi-structured interview consisting of 15 questions developed by the principal researcher. After the interview, each audio recording was transcribed and subsequently analyzed using grounded theory to determine prominent themes. An additional researcher was identified to assist with the data analysis. Results indicated 4 overarching themes: (a) Understanding Cultural Heritage and Identity; (b) Challenging Experiences; (c) Approaches to Navigating Professional Contexts; and (d) Recommendations for Developing Professionals.