All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sylvie Mrug

Advisory Committee Members

Olivio J Clay

Aaron Fobian

Donna Murdaugh

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


Cognitive functioning is an important aspect of human development that is closely related to youth academic outcomes (Caemmerer et al., 2018). Specifically, there is evidence that cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, and self-control are predictive of academic achievement in youth (Peng & Kievit, 2020). Current research suggests that chronic stress reduces cognitive functioning (Korten et al., 2014), but few studies have examined this relationship for race-related stress, specifically racial discrimination. Considering that racial discrimination is a common and reoccurring type of stress in the lives of minority youth (Hughes et al., 2016), it is possible that chronic exposure to this type of stress negatively affects cognitive functioning, eventually contributing to poor academic achievement and the well-documented achievement gap between minority and White students (William, 2011). Furthermore, research suggests that sleep duration and sleep quality play key roles in facilitating youth’s abilities to cope with discriminatory experiences (Wang & Yip, 2020), and thus may attenuate the negative effects of racial discrimination on cognitive functioning. However, no studies have examined whether sleep duration and quality moderate the relationship between racial discrimination and cognitive functioning in adolescents.