Posttraumatic Growth and Flourishing in the Face of Racial Trauma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Examining well-being in the face of racial trauma is timely, clinically significant, and severely understudied, especially in Black populations. To address this gap, we investigated the relationship between flourishing and posttraumatic growth among Black undergraduates who reported a history of racial trauma.

METHOD: Participants were 96 Black college students recruited from a predominantly White Midwestern university, all of whom reported experience of racial trauma. Participants completed the Flourishing Scale and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) in an online survey. Most were women/cisgender female/female (66.67%) and identified as religious (66%); 47% were first-generation college students. The average age of the sample was 21.14 ( SD = 5.46).

RESULTS: We analyzed Flourishing and PTGI scores for students who were able to identify/recall a racially traumatic event/experience using linear regression. Results indicated that after controlling for sociodemographic factors, scores on the PTGI significantly predicted Flourishing scores and accounted for 29.4% of the variance.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that those who are able to deepen connections with others, tap into their inner strengths, gain new perspectives and a new appreciation for life, and connect to spirituality not only grow but are more likely to report flourishing. Contributing empirical evidence to the reliability (α =.91) and validity of the Flourishing Scale for Black college students, our findings also have implications for educators and clinicians interested in helping Black students grow and flourish in the aftermath of racially traumatic events. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 27 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by NIFA Hatch Project No. MIN-52-097.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Psychological Association


  • Black college students
  • antiblackness
  • flourishing
  • posttraumatic growth
  • racial trauma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Posttraumatic Growth and Flourishing in the Face of Racial Trauma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this