Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Nora Charles

Advisor Department



It has been shown that college students of color do not share the same experiences as their Caucasian counterparts, with students of color experiencing higher levels of harassment and lower levels of perceived campus safety (Rankin & Reason, 2005). The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and the subsequent Trump administration on college students of color, specifically African American college students, and the psychological distress that may have been caused by the consequences of a shift in the national political climate. Participants were college students ages 18 to 54 who completed a series of online questionnaires asking them about their opinions on and feelings toward the President of the United States, national political affairs, time spent on media platforms, and their own psychological symptoms. Time spent on media platforms was associated with higher levels of psychological symptoms for African American participants. Across both racial groups, participants who were not registered to vote reported engaging in less political discourse with their friends than registered voters. Lower levels of approval of the President of the United States ability to handle his job and overall impression of the President were associated with higher levels of psychological symptoms for both racial groups. However, a significant positive relationship between sleep problems and interest in politics and dissociation and attention given to current national politics was exhibited only for African American participants.

Included in

Psychology Commons