Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Counseling and Psychological Services
Y. Barry Chung, Ph.D. - Chair
Joel Meyers, Ph.D.
Leslie Jackson, Ph.D.
Catherine Y. Chang, Ph.D.
This qualitative study explored racial/ethnic and gender identities of African descent women. Specifically, 13 African descent women were interviewed about influences on their racial/ethnic and gender identities, the process by such identities developed in order to assess the applicability of current theories, and whether they perceive an interaction between their racial/ethnic and gender identities. Phase One, an initial focus group informed Phase Two of the study; individual interviews. Phase Three, a member-checking focus group, validated themes generated from data analysis. All focus groups and interview sessions followed a semi-structured format. Family, educational experiences, physical features, oppressive experiences, political movements, and religious/spiritual influences were found to shape racial/ethnic identity among participants. Gender identity was found to be influenced by family, motherhood, religion, and physicality. Current identity models were found to, in partially, describe racial/ethnic identity development. Womanist identity was found to most accurately describe the participant’s gender identity development. Finally, an interaction between racial/ethnic and gender identity development was endorsed, however articulation of this relationship was difficult. Research and practical implications are discussed.
Williams, Wendi Saree, "African Descent Women's Conceptualization of Ethnic/Racial and Gender Identities" (2006). Counseling and Psychological Services Dissertations. Paper 2.