Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Professor Groscup

Reader 2

Professor Ma

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Rights Information

© 2022 Sofia Van Sickle


Objective: African Americans are disproportionately impacted by adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) compared to White Americans. This research proposal explores the correlation between exposure to racism and healing from ACEs and examines the moderating role of social support and financial access to mental health services. Method: The study’s participant sample will consist of African American adults who have self-reported an ACE. These participants will complete measures that assess perceived social support, financial ability, trauma symptoms, attributes of healing, and experiences with racism. Participants will complete the survey once a year for three years. Results: The data will be examined between-participants, cross sectionally and also within-participants, longitudinally. It is predicted that those who experience more racism will be less likely to heal from their ACE than those who experience less racism and that more social support and a greater financial status will buffer the negative effects of racism. Aims & Impacts: This study aims to center the lives and experiences of Black individuals in psychological research and create visibility for a community who has been historically underserved and oppressed. Studies such as this could increase societal awareness surrounding issues like racism and trauma and aid in developing appropriate healing techniques and strategies.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.