Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Jioni A. Lewis and Gina Owens

Committee Members

Dawn M. Szymanski, J. Camille Hall


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relations between gendered racial microaggressions (GRMS), coping strategies, womanist attitudes, the Strong Black Woman (SBW) schema, and traumatic stress symptoms among Black women. This study utilized an intersectionality framework to test coping strategies (detachment, internalization, drug/alcohol use, education/advocacy, and resistance) as mediators and aspects of Black women’s identity as moderators (womanist attitudes and SBW schema) in the link between GRMS and traumatic stress symptoms. Participants were 185 Black women from across the United States who completed an online survey. Results from a mediation analysis indicated that detachment coping and drug/alcohol use significantly mediated the relations between GRMS and traumatic stress, such that experiencing a greater frequency of gendered racial microaggressions was associated with greater use of detachment coping and drug/alcohol use, which in turn, was associated with greater traumatic stress. Results from two separate moderated mediation analyses were not significant, though the SBW schema was associated with greater disengagement coping (internalization and detachment) and womanist attitudes were associated with greater engagement coping (education/advocacy and resistance). SBW schema also moderated the relations between GRMS and detachment coping. The results of this study can contribute to our understanding of how Black women cope with gendered racism as well as internalized beliefs that may be beneficial or harmful.

Available for download on Friday, August 15, 2025

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