Theses and Dissertations

What Does It Mean to Be Black and a Woman? An Investigation of Recollected Racial Socialization Messages and Racial Identity Development on Subjective Gender Role Stress

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Ryon C. McDermott


Black American women face unique challenges in their identity development and gender role experiences. Research has explored the impact of racial socialization messages on racial identity development, but there are significant gaps in the literature on how gendered racial socialization messages (i.e., the intersectionality of messages regarding both racial and gender identities; Brown et al., 2017) are associated with Black racial identity and subjective gender role stress (i.e., experiences of stress associated with events related to the female gender role; Shea et al., 2014) in Black women. This current study addresses this gap. A sample of 564 self-identified Black American women, born and raised in the United States, were surveyed to understand recollected gendered racial socialization messages and subjective gender role stress mediated through racial identity. Gendered racial socialization messages that may be deemed healthy in nature were positively and negatively related to the internalization-Afrocentricity and multiculturalist inclusive racial identity statuses but were unrelated to subjective gender role stress. In addition, such messages were positively and negatively related to the pre-encounter racial identity statuses. Unhealthy gendered racial socialization messages were positively and significantly correlated with all pre-encounter racial identity statuses (i.e., pre-encounter assimilation, pre-encounter miseducation, pre-encounter self-hatred) but were not xii associated with subjective gender role stress. In addition, unhealthy messages were also negatively associated with the internalization racial identity statuses. The pre-encounter self-hatred racial identity statuses mediated the effects between gendered racial pride and empowerment and oppression awareness messages (i.e., healthy messages), gendered racial hardship messages (i.e., healthy messages), and internalized generalized oppression messages (i.e., unhealthy messages) and subjective gender role stress. Such findings add significant value to the current body of literature by discussing implications for future research, clinical practice, and limitations.

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