Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Winston Seegobin, PsyD

Second Advisor

Amber Nelson, PsyD

Third Advisor

Kathleen Gathercoal, PhD


Graduate school can be a challenging and demanding experience, with many students facing considerable stress and adversity throughout their academic journey. For BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) graduate students, the challenges may be amplified due to systemic and social factors, which can increase stress levels, potentially affecting their mental and physical health. This study explored the role of resilience as a protective factor for BIPOC graduate students, examining the correlation between resilience, mental health, and physical health, and the importance of religion. The sample consisted of 132 BIPOC participants and 242 White participants. Regarding their academic status, 63.6% of participants were enrolled in a master's degree program, while 36.4% were in a doctoral degree program. The following measures were used in the study: Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (Connor & Davidson, 2003), Psychological Well-Being Scale (Ryff, 1989), Short Form 36 Health Questionnaire (RAND Corporation, 1990), and a Single-Item Spirituality Scale (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989). Results from the Pearson correlation analysis revealed a significant positive correlation between resilience and psychological well-being (r = .535, p < .001), which suggests that among BIPOC graduate students, those with higher resilience levels reported better mental health. Results also indicated a significant and positive correlation between resilience and physical health (r = .178, p = .041) for BIPOC graduate students. Additional analyses revealed no significant differences in resilience, mental health, and physical health between BIPOC and White students. However, there was a significant difference in the importance assigned to religion with religion being more important to White graduate students. These findings can provide valuable insights for developing targeted support and intervention strategies to enhance the well-being of BIPOC graduate students.

Included in

Psychology Commons