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‘You Crazy’: Examination of Black Transnational Collegians’ Mental Health at` Historically White Institutions

Abstract
Even though Black transnational collegians are an increasingly growing population with representation on campuses across the United States (see George Mwangi, 2014; George Mwangi et al., 2019; Williams, 2021), historically white institutions (HWIs) have yet to cater its student support services to these groups of students. This critical qualitative study explored 20 Black transnational collegians’ perceptions of and lived experiences with mental health through the use of in-depth interviews and a 2-D art-based educational approach. With intersectionality theory and the liberation health model as guiding principles, I answered the following research questions: How do Black transnational collegians at HWIs perceive the quality of their mental health? In what ways do Black transnational collegians at HWIs perceive familial socialization, their campus environment, and societal oppressions influencing their mental health? How do Black transnational collegians at HWIs perceive their mental health impacting their college-going experience? What resources do Black transnational collegians at HWIs utilize to address their mental health needs? Three major themes with sub-themes emerged from the data: (1) Mental health socialization & connection to college experience (2) Perceived quality of mental health (3) Seeking mental health resources. Black transnational collegians at HWIs perceive familial socialization, their campus environment, and societal oppressions influencing their mental health and the ways their mental health impacts their college-going experience. The participants perceived their mental health as bleak or wavering based on the stressors in their lives. The participants had complex definitions of mental health that included having the ability to manage the stressors in life and having joy. The participants’ definitions stemmed from their religious upbringing, their family’s values, and their college experience. The participants’ help-seeking behaviors were connected to their understanding of mental health and their Black transnational identities. All the participants viewed therapy as a healthy resource that others should use; yet some of the participants chose to not use therapy as a mental health resource due to ingrained cultural views about therapy. The participants found community support from BIPOC and transnational folx, therapeutic activities, and religion to address their mental health needs.
Type
campusfive
dissertation
Date
5/26/23
Publisher
Rights
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