Publication Date

Summer 2022



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Shirlyn Garrett

Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph Campbell


This study is a qualitative research study which explores the lived experiences of fourteen African American males who were raised in Chicago during their childhood and/or adolescence. Concepts such as Minority Stress, Historical Traumas and Ethnic Identity/coping styles were explored. The Resilience Theory is used to guide study. Semistructured, qualitative interviews were used, and this study utilized the Colaizzi process for phenomenological data analysis. There were three themes that arose from this qualitative analysis, namely (a) influences that contribute to stress, (b) perceptions of coping, and (c) personal coping methods. Each theme encompassed several subthemes and codes. The analysis of the data gained from the semi-structured interviews that the study conducted with African American men who grew up in Chicago’s urban communities and who had demonstrated resilience revealed multiple themes that were related to the overarching research question for this study. The first theme (i.e., the influences that contribute to stress), included participant reports of experiences that they had had growing up in different neighborhoods across Chicago. There were three subthemes that composed this theme, namely personal experiences with racialized stress, experiences in neighborhoods, and the effect of Historical Trauma. As part of these findings, participants shared their exposures to different risks and beneficial events in their neighborhoods while growing up and described how those experiences influenced them. Participants also commented on the effect that Historical Trauma, such as slavery, had on their own development and coping skills.