Cranes in the sky: Exploring the relationship between the strong black woman archetype and mental health help-seeking behaviors of black women
Kirby, Mia Moore
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The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between the Strong Black Woman archetype and the self-image of Black women as well as their mental health help-seeking behaviors. Specifically, I am exploring if a relationship between strength and receiving professional mental health services exists. The results of the study provided insight into these concepts and implications for future research and mental health intervention strategies for Black women. Previous research has provided some insight on the Strong Black woman image (Guy-Sheftall 1995; Harris-Lacewell 2001; Holmes et al 2001; Collins 2000; Wyatt 2008) in addition to the mental health help-seeking behaviors of Black women (Pyant & Yanico 1991; Thomas et al. 2004; Beauboeuf-Lafontant 2007; Johnson et. al. 2009; Levine et al., 2015; Sosulski & Woodward, 2013). However, little research exists examining the relationship between the Strong Black Woman archetype and mental health help-seeking behaviors of Black women (Beauboeuf-Lafontant 2007; Holmes et al 2001; Watson & Hunter 2015). This study was conducted using two forms of qualitative data collection. The first aspect of the study analyzed music from the Black Power and Feminist movements of the (1960’s-1970’s) as well as music from the Black Lives Matter movement (2013- present day). The second aspect of the study was conducted through semi-structured interviews. A historically, underrepresented group in academia (Collins 2000) Black women’s voices and experiences in seeking mental health services warrant investigation due to the prevalence of mental health issues and lack of help-seeking behaviors within the Black community.
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