Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2009


African American women fulfill many roles within their family and community. Most notably, these women are often defined by their “strength” and rarely seen as “vulnerable”. Many African American women demonstrate strength as they struggle to maintain employment, raise children, nurture spouses and extended family, but these same women are at-risk for a higher rate of health and emotional problems. In this paper, the authors use relational cultural-, stress and coping- and lifespan theories, along with black feminist thought to discuss the interlocking effects of race, gender, and class regarding the psychological well-being of African American women 18-55 years old. We conclude with a discussion of research, practice, and teaching implications.

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