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Psychosocial Environments of Black Colleges: A Theory-Based Assessment

James M. Richards Jr.
Population and Environment
Vol. 9, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 41-53
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27503062
Page Count: 13
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Psychosocial Environments of Black Colleges: A Theory-Based Assessment
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Abstract

Holland's theory of person environment interactions has considerable potential for helping to integrate environmental psychology with personality social psychology. This study applied measures based on his theory to the environments of black colleges. Compared to the U.S. labor force as a whole, blacks are over represented in social service careers and under represented in technical and managerial careers, and it is possible that the environments provided by black colleges may help cause or perpetuate this distribution of blacks among careers. Accordingly, the faculties of predominantly black colleges and of a representative sample of U.S. postsecondary institutions were classified in terms of Holland's six types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Compared to U.S. colleges as a whole, the faculties of black colleges are relatively more concentrated in Social fields and relatively less concentrated in Realistic and Enterprising fields. Thus the environments of black colleges and universities resemble the distribution of blacks among careers. These results imply that efforts to improve black colleges might emphasize recruitment of faculty members in Realistic and Enterprising fields. Implifications for environmental psychologists working in other contexts are considered.

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