Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Tonks, Stephen

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)


The objective of this dissertation is to identify the sense of belonging of Black male students attending predominantly White institutions (PWIs). In many cases, Black males feel they do not belong in collegiate environments in the United States. Thirty-nine Black males attending a mid-sized Midwestern university were surveyed using the Basic Psychological Needs Satisfactions and Frustrations Survey and the College Persistence Questionnaire. One interesting result was a significant correlation between social integration and relatedness satisfaction, indicating Black males feel like they belong in the collegiate environment when they are integrated socially with students and faculty who look like them. This led to the utilization of a practical intervention to engage Black males and create a sense of belonging in PWIs. This intervention is called the Barbershop Talks Experience (BTE). The BTE is a working platform engaging participants while attempting to create a sense of belonging for them on campus and encourage supportive relationships among participants. These goals all fit in the self-determination theory framework, as they help satisfy the need for relatedness among the participants. The mission of the BTE is to encourage Black males to authentically exist in all spaces, by exposing current ideologies and educating with formal intent but delivered in an informal way.


96 pages




Northern Illinois University

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