Stephanie Castelin, '20


Stephanie Castelin, '20





Stephanie was born in Fort Lauderdale, FL and raised in Palm Beach, FL. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in statistics. Her passion to help other students has led her to hold leadership positions in several campus organizations and serve as a mentor and tutor for high school and college students. Stephanie has had over a year of research experience in the Neurolinguistics Lab at UCF where she is studying the psychophysiological differences between bilingual and monolingual speakers. She is currently working on her Honors in the Major thesis, which seeks to evaluate the effects of the Strong Black Woman schema on black women's mental health. After obtaining her bachelor's degree, Stephanie would like to attend a doctoral program in clinical psychology to pursue a career in child clinical psychology. In doing so, she would like to help advance the field of mental health in under served children through research, teaching, and treatment.

Faculty Mentor

Jeffery Bedwell Ph.D.

Undergraduate Major


Future Plans

Psychology Ph.D.


Title: “I’m a Strong Independent Black Woman”: The Cost of Strong Black Woman Schema Endorsement

Mentor: Grace White, Ph.D, Psychology Department, University of Central Florida

Institution: University of Central Florida


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. (Abrams, Maxwell, Pope, & Belgrave, 2014; Jerald, Ward, Moss, Thomas, & Fletcher, 2017). Black women have expressed that the SBWS is necessary for survival (Woods-Giscombé, 2010). However, previous studies have found a relationship between the SBWS and symptoms of psychopathology, including binge eating, depression, and anxiety (Donovan & West, 2015; Etowa, Beagan, Eghan, & Bernard, 2017; Watson & Hunter, 2015). This study aims to further investigate the relationship between the SBWS and mental health. Specifically, the study will examine the associations between the SBWS and resilience, psychological distress, and suicidal behaviors. The researcher expects to find a positive relationship between the SBWS and psychological distress, as well as, a positive association between the SBWS and resilience. It is hypothesized that the SBWS and suicidal behaviors will share a relationship but there is no prediction as to the direction of this relationship. The study will also examine if the relationship between psychological distress and suicidal behaviors is moderated by the SBWS and resilience by performing a moderated multiple regression analysis. It is predicted that the SBWS and resilience will weaken the relationship between psychological distress and suicidal behaviors, as shown by a significant negative change in the R2% for psychological distress. Lastly, the study will also examine how socioeconomic status moderates the relationship between the SBWS and psychological distress. It is expected that higher socioeconomic status will weaken the relationship between the SBWS and psychological distress. The findings of this study will bear important clinical implications for mental health professionals. By determining whether the SBWS is helpful or hurtful to mental health, further research can be conducted on how black woman can combat or take advantage of the SBWS.


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Stephanie Castelin, '20