The Strong Black Woman Schema (SBWS) is a cultural expectation placed on black women to unfailingly display signs of strength and caretaker qualities, while suppressing their emotions. The present study aimed to examine the relationship between the SBWS and psychological distress, suicidal behaviors, and resilience. Researchers expected to find a positive relationship between the SBWS and psychological distress, a positive relationship between the SBWS and resilience, and an undefined relationship between the SBWS and suicidal behaviors. The study also examined the potential moderating effects of the SBWS and resilience on the existing psychological distress-suicidal behaviors relationship. Lastly, the study examined how socioeconomic status moderates the relationship between the SBWS and psychological distress. It was expected that the SBWS and resilience would weaken the relationship between psychological distress and suicidal behaviors; higher socioeconomic status would weaken the relationship between the SBWS and psychological distress. Researchers recruited 177 black women to take a 30-minute survey. A bivariate correlation analysis showed that the SBWS shares a positive relationship with psychological distress, including depression, anxiety, and stress, and suicidal behaviors. However, resilience was not associated with the SBWS. Resilience was found to moderate the psychological distress-suicidal behaviors relationship, while the SBWS did not. Socioeconomic status did not moderate the relationship between the SBWS and psychological distress. The findings of this study bear important clinical and community implications. By determining the harmful effects of the SBWS, further research can be conducted on how black woman, mental health professionals, and community advocates can mitigate its effects.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Castelin, Stephanie, ""I'm a Strong Independent Black Woman": The Cost of Strong Black Woman Schema Endorsement" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 494.