A rapidly increasing number of Americans suffer from stress and anxiety (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2018; American Psychiatric Association, 2020). It is even more prominent among stress afflicted adults now that we are experiencing civil unrest and a pandemic. Without tools to implement and maintain a growth mindset, those who suffer will struggle with negative thoughts, behaviors, and results (Bergland, 2017). The purpose of this research is to disrupt the cycle of negative energy that leads to social ills and fixed mindsets by developing a structured method to practice positive thinking and goal achievement. This qualitative transcendental phenomenological study surveyed African American females who are high academic achievers to understand if a growth mindset impacts their ability to overcome obstacles and accomplish goals, as well as the tools they use, if any, to implement and maintain their perspectives. Due to the pandemic and CDC guidelines, an electronic survey was selected to ensure the participants and the researcher's safety. The data collection was triangulated. Using this strategic juxtaposition of multiple data sources allowed the study to achieve greater rigor and validity (Cohen et al., 2000). The data revealed a growth mindset has a direct impact on how the sample faces challenges. Furthermore, we learned that the participants manage their stress and anxiety by having a positive attitude, practicing gratitude, setting goals, and visualizing and affirming positive outcomes. Based on the results, the AGGVA (Attitude, Gratitude, Goals, Vision, Affirm) framework was developed to help society overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Attitude (Psychology); Successful people; African American women

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Ebony Cain