Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Jioni A. Lewis

Committee Members

Debora R. Baldwin, Kirsten A. Gonzalez, Jennifer J. Tree


This study tests Lewis and colleagues’ (2017) biopsychosocial model of gendered racism, which extends the biopsychosocial model of perceived racism (Clark et al., 1999) to gendered racism by investigating the role of gendered racial microaggressions (e.g., subtle gendered racism) in autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysregulation among Black women. Specifically, the association between the stress and frequency of gendered racial microaggressions and sAA activity, including total sAA output, diurnal slope, and waking sAA as indicators of ANS dysregulation were examined among Black women (N = 90, Mage = 19 years, SD = 5.02). Four types of gendered racial microaggressions unique to Black women were explored: Assumptions of Beauty and Sexual Objectification, Silenced and Marginalized, Strong Black Woman Stereotype, and Angry Black Woman Stereotype. Findings suggest that the stress of gendered racial microaggressions was associated with ANS dysregulation. Specifically, greater stress of Silenced and Marginalized microaggressions significantly predicted low total sAA output, which is an indicator of ANS dysregulation. The current study has implications for increasing understanding of the ways in which gendered racism is related to biomarkers of chronic stress among Black women.

Available for download on Thursday, August 15, 2024

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