Term of Award

Summer 2024

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

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


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeff Klibert

Committee Member 1

Ryan Couillou

Committee Member 2

Dorthie Cross


Black individuals possess numerous strengths and positive contributions that build strong communities and cultivate psychological well-being (Biglan et al., 2012). However, much of the current literature focuses on hardships Black individuals face, skewing the larger discourse of their lived experience. This exclusive focus on adversity often neglects pathways by which Black people thrive and flourish. It is important to consider how Black experiences relate to a sense of well-being. Resilience, or the ability to “bounce back” from adverse experiences is linked well-being outcomes (APA, 2012). However, it is unknown whether the promotive effects of resilience directly contribute to well-being outcomes or are funneled through the effects social support dimensions (e.g., friends, family, significant other) in Black individuals. The study answered the following questions: (a) do reports of resilience, social support, and well-being vary by rural vs. urban Black groups? (b) is there a positive relationship between resilience and well-being in a sample of Black adults? (c) are dimensions of social support positively related to resilience and well-being scores in a sample of Black adults? (d) does the relationship between resilience and well-being vary as a function of social support dimensions? The study utilized a cross-sectional, correlational design and participants completed an online survey related to their experiences with resilience, social support, and well-being. Data were collected from a sample of 428 Black individuals. Main and interaction effects for gender and rurality were examined on the study’s main variables. Results indicate Black men report higher levels of friend and significant other social support compared to Black women, whereas Black women report higher levels of well-being compared to Black men. Additionally, Black individuals in rural areas report higher levels of resilience and well-being when compared to Black individuals in non-rural areas. Moderated models revealed friend social support moderated the relationship between resilience and well-being. Specifically, the relationship between resilience and well-being strengthens when friend social support is high. However, it is important that future research identifies the specific types of support (e.g., physical, cognitive, emotional) friends provide to determine the most effective methods of strengthening resilience efforts and higher levels of well-being.

Research Data and Supplementary Material