Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Tiffany Hornsby

Tammy Gilligan

Cara Meixner


Using collaborative autoethnography (CAE), the presented thesis explores the friendship of four women of color attending a school psychology graduate program. Friendship is presented as a protective factor with particular relevancy for women of color, and for racially- and ethnically-minoritized (REM) students attending graduate school. Researcher-participants utilized a concurrent approach to CAE, and data collection methods included journal entries and recorded conversations between researcher-participants. Relevant themes identified using emergent thematic coding included the meaningful characteristics of friendship, as identified by researcher-participants, as well as skills and actions identified as being influenced by friendship. Key ideas discussed include the meaningfulness of psychological safety, social support, reciprocity, humor, and joy in the friendship being explored, as well as the perceived benefits of this friendship on the behaviors, cognition, and skill set of the researcher-participants. Lastly, regarding implications for future research, researcher-participants discuss the meaningfulness of having cohorts of women of color, or intentional space provided for community and connection between women of color, in programs in which they are historically underrepresented.



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