The Urban Review

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 574–596 | Cite as

A Qualitative Examination of the Impact of Culturally Responsive Educational Practices on the Psychological Well-Being of Students of Color

  • Blaire CholewaEmail author
  • Rachael D. Goodman
  • Cirecie West-Olatunji
  • Ellen Amatea


Scholars have shown that educational experiences within the classroom may marginalize students of color which may result in psychological distress. However, the utilization of culturally responsive educational practices (CRE) can create environments in which marginalized students can thrive not only academically, but psychologically. The authors provide a qualitative case study examining the culturally responsive practices of one teacher through a relational cultural theory (RCT) lens. The findings suggest that CRE practices may serve as psychological interventions that are associated with decreased psychological distress and increased psychological well-being amongst students of color. Specifically, students demonstrated behaviors depicting a number of RCT’s five good things, including zest, empowerment, connection, clarity, and self-worth, that improve psychological well-being according to RCT.


Cultural responsiveness Psychological well-being Relational cultural theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Blaire Cholewa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rachael D. Goodman
    • 2
  • Cirecie West-Olatunji
    • 3
  • Ellen Amatea
    • 4
  1. 1.Counselor Education DepartmentKean UniversityUnionUSA
  2. 2.Counseling and Development ProgramGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  3. 3.Counseling ProgramUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Department of Counselor EducationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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