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Cultural mistrust, university alienation, academic self-efficacy and academic help seeking in African American college students

Eric Eugene Lee, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Nationally the gap between the proportion of African Americans and Whites who attain bachelor's degrees has continued to widen over the past 20 years (National Center for Educational Statistics [NCES], 2001). Furthermore, NCES data shows that only half of the African American high school graduates enroll in college immediately. The rates for low income and first generation minority students are even lower (United States Department of Education, 2000). While 33% of White persons over the age of 25 hold a bachelor's degree, only 18% of African American adults and 11% of Hispanic adults hold the same degree (United States Census Bureau, 2000). ^ Given the significant amount of state and federal resources directed at increasing African American access to and graduation from institutions of higher education over the past 50 years, one would assume that the number and percentage of African American students graduating from post-secondary institutions should show signs of improvement. Current national data on the academic success and graduation rates of African American students do not show this to be true (LACES, 1998). ^ Research on academic help seeking suggests that how successfully students identify, select and access potential help resources when they experience academic difficulties can affect their success in the university (Magnusson & Perry, 1992). As educational institutions attempt to link their academic services to students and improve the academic success and graduation rate of African American students, having an understanding of the help seeking preferences and behaviors of these students is paramount. ^ This study addressed the variables cultural mistrust and university alienation for their cultural relevance and relationship to seeking help from formal help resources. The third variable, academic self-efficacy was chosen for its documented relationship to student behavior and activity. ^ The purpose of this research study was to assess the impact of cultural mistrust, university alienation and self-efficacy on student academic help seeking in African American college students. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Black Studies|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Lee, Eric Eugene, "Cultural mistrust, university alienation, academic self-efficacy and academic help seeking in African American college students" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3092566.