The Price of Strength: Black College Women’s Perspectives on the Strong Black Woman Stereotype

Lindsey M. West, Roxanne A. Donovan, Amanda R. Daniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Black feminist scholars posit that the Strong Black Woman stereotype (SBW) is a compelling image that depicts Black women as strong, independent, and self-sacrificing. Research suggests SBW internalization is related to mental and physical health problems. This study asked Black college women open-ended questions on several SBW-related topics. Thematic analysis of approximately 90 participants revealed definitions of SBW, including, strong, independent, hardworking, and caring. Contrary to SBW’s positive perception, the majority of participants reported SBW’s negative effects on their health, highlighting SBW’s paradox. Findings increase awareness of the SBW stereotype for mental health professionals who work with Black college women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-412
Number of pages23
JournalWomen and Therapy
Volume39
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016

Keywords

  • Black women
  • Strong Black Women stereotype
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Psychology(all)

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