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Strong Black Woman Ideology, Stress and Obesity Among African American Women Attending Church: Towards a Framework for the Healthy Strong Black Woman

Clarke-Smith, Camille (2019) Strong Black Woman Ideology, Stress and Obesity Among African American Women Attending Church: Towards a Framework for the Healthy Strong Black Woman. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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African American (AA) women have the highest rates of obesity in the nation. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the Strong Black Woman (SBW) ideology, stress, and obesity among AA women attending church. The Social Ecological Perspective (Brofenbenner, 2009) and Intersectionality theory (Crenshaw, 1989) were used as the theoretical frameworks to explain how the intersection of race and gender placed AA women in conditions that influenced the development of the Strong Black Woman. A quantitative research design was used for this study. Participants reported their demographic background and self-reported weight and height to calculate body mass index (BMI); Strong Black Woman Cultural Construct Scale (SBWCCS) was used to measure the internalization of SBW ideology; and Perceived Stress Scale – 10 (PSS-10) was used to measure perceived stress. Eighty-four AA women were recruited from three churches located in the Pittsburgh area. Descriptive statistics were performed on demographic items, BMI categories, SBWCCS, total PSS-10 scores. Pearson r product-moment correlation was conducted to assess the relationship between variables. Analyses were conducted using SPSS software and statistical significance was set at p<0.05. The results of the analyses revealed that there were strong, positive correlations between SBW Ideology and BMI, SBW Ideology and perceived stress, and perceived stress and BMI. The findings from this study implicate that stress management techniques, like mindfulness, might be beneficial when implemented in weight loss interventions targeting AA women; and that motivational interviewing should be used by health professionals to help identify and assist SBWs in changing unhealthy behaviors.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Clarke-Smith, Camillecac275@pitt.educac275
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRoss, Sharonseross@pitt.eduseross
Committee CoChairFertman,
Committee MemberThompson-Dorsey,
Thesis AdvisorKarve,
Date: 30 July 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 April 2019
Approval Date: 30 July 2019
Submission Date: 2 July 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 79
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health and Physical Activity
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Strong Black Woman, Stress, Obesity
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2019 14:50
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2019 14:50


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