All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Shelia R Cotten

Advisory Committee Members

Gail Wallace

Sylvie Mrug

Michael Howell-Moroney

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This dissertation examines the relationship between sociocultural disposition, as protective factors, and social and psychological adjustment among urban minority youth. Pierre Bourdieu's concept of the habitus provides the theoretical foundation for sociocultural disposition as a factor influencing the reproduction of poor psychosocial adjustment. Sociocultural disposition is operationalized as self-efficacy, optimism, and hopelessness. Data from this study are from the Birmingham Youth and Technology Study (BYTS) which was conducted during the 2008-2009 school year by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) Regression was used to test six hypotheses regarding the relationship between sociocultural disposition and the outcome variables. Three of the six hypotheses were fully supported by the findings and partial support was found for the other three. Overall, the findings support sociocultural disposition as a protective mechanism for social and psychological adjustment. Participants who had a more positive disposition had better adjustment outcomes. These findings have significant implications for the long-term well-being of urban minority youth as sociocultural disposition could be used to develop interventions that reduce health and educational inequalities experienced by this social group.

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