Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology

Committee Director

James F. Paulson

Committee Member

Desideria S. Hacker

Committee Member

Michelle L. Kelley


Marginalized communities, specifically Black Americans, have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in more hospitalizations and deaths within this particular community. However, this disproportionate impact of COVID-19 is likely the result of ongoing health disparities related to a lack of access to adequate healthcare. In addition to health disparities specifically related to COVID-19, Black Americans have also experienced public displays of racial discrimination resulting from the systemic racism that has occurred for many years. It has been determined that stress spillover can impact relationship factors and this same spillover may be an important factor by which health disparities and experiences related to racial discrimination may spill over into family functioning and relationships within Black families. Therefore, the present study sought to examine the impact of perceived racial discrimination on the relationship between COVID-19-related stressors and family functioning as well as the impact of experiences of racial socialization on these relationships. It was hypothesized that race would moderate the relationship between COVID-related stressors/risk and family function. It was also hypothesized that racial discrimination would moderate the relationship between COVID-related stressors/risk and family function in Black families. Lastly, it was expected that the moderating effect of racial discrimination would be conditional based on experiences of racial socialization within Black families.


The VIRGINIA CONSORTIUM PROGRAM IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY is a joint program of Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Old Dominion University.


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