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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Friday, March 6
 

10:45am

Acts of Political Warfare: Black Women’s Mental Health & Well-Being
Health disparities among African American females persists for several health outcomes, particularly around mental health and well-being. The race paradox in mental health further problematizes this issue of measurement, resilience mechanisms and coping strategies (Mouzon, 2013). Researchers have suggested Black females’ interactions with social structures have contributed to these phenomena (Abdou et al, 2014; Deguzman & Kulbok, 2012; Douglas, 1992; Kothari et al, 2014; Williams, 2002). Research that employs theoretical and empirical work from the humanities, social sciences and public health to explain mechanisms of psychosocial and environmental stressors contributing to health inequality, is integral to advancing Black women’s health. Because Black women have been forced to prioritize either their gender or race in the ongoing quest for social equality in the United States, and historically have had minimal agency over their bodies, an intersectional feminist approach towards mental health research represents an interpretive framework in which to better understand Black women’s health with respect to race, class, gender, citizenship and geography. Audre Lorde’s seminal quote on the necessity of self-care as an act of political warfare for Black women living in America (1988) is the motivation for this presentation. This interactive presentation will a) briefly describe the mechanism in which Black women engage in the health industrial complex, including health and body politics, as well as how the amelioration of Black midwives/nurses in Black communities’ have contributed to Black women’s poor health today; and b) interrogate intersectional perspectives to discuss Black women’s agency in organizing around health, or acts of political warfare. This approach acknowledges the complete health and well-being of Black women, not merely their reproductive health, which has traditionally been the focus.


Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Monterey/Carmel

10:45am

African American Girls’ Reflections on Mentoring Relationships at a Girl Serving Agency
At-risk, female adolescents are negatively impacted (e.g., personally, vocationally, and academically) by environments that do not foster their unique needs (Blumer & Werner-Wilson, 2010; Bulanda & McCrea, 2013). Research shows that girls can benefit from programs that teach leadership, relationship, and social engagement skills and include a component that allows girls to be a part of a mentoring relationship (Bulanda & McCrea, 2013; Deutsch, Wiggins, Henneberger, & Lawrence, 2013; Hirsch et al., 2000). Although some research has been conducted on the mentoring relationship, more research is needed that focuses on how the mentoring relationship is perceived by the participants as well as the span of the relationship (Deutsch, Wiggins, Henneberger, & Lawrence, 2013), particularly among African American/Black girls. Method Nine African American/Black adolescent females were interviewed to examine how client and staff mentoring relationships are formed and maintained as well as the extent to which they engaged in conversations about gender, ethnicity, and social justice with the staff at the agency. Results The responses to the open ended questions were analyzed by a team of researchers using grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006, 2014). The themes that emerged from the data include 1) reason for attendance, 2) quality of relationships with staff, 3) behaviors of a mentor, 4) qualities of a mentor, 5) factors that support the development of trust, 6) conversations about gender, 7) conversations about race/ethnicity, 8) conversations about social class and 9) whether the girls are mentors. Frequencies of the individual categories and quotes from the girls will be reported. Discussion We will present our findings in light of the importance of mentoring relationships and the ways in which our study fills gaps in the literature regarding the experiences of African American girls. We will also discuss ways in which researchers and clinicians can apply our findings to their own work.


Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Monterey/Carmel

10:45am

Listening to African American women’s experiences of trauma and community
This study aims to further understand the experiences of urban African American women who have experienced trauma in their lives. Prior research suggests that city dwelling non-Whites are more likely to experience violent traumas (e.g., Breslau, et al., 1998), and symptom severity and coping strategies may differ among women of various racial backgrounds (e.g., Ford, 2011). Other studies have addressed the importance of the neighborhood environment for mental health outcomes among African American individuals (e.g., Gapen, et al., 2011). As part of an undergraduate community-engagement course, interviews were conducted with African American residents of a low-income inner-city neighborhood. Teams of students and the course instructor conducted these interviews in response to a request from the community to learn about residents’ experiences of trauma and recovery. Prior to analysis, excerpts of the interviews were shared with the community anonymously in a public reading. A total of 11 interviews were conducted with African American women who are residents of an inner-city community. The semi-structured interviews began with an open prompt inviting interviewees to describe meaningful experiences in their lives; these experiences frequently included multiple traumas. At this stage in the project, all interviews have been conducted and transcribed. The Listening Guide (Gilligan, Spencer, Weinberg, & Bertsch, 2006) will be used to analyze these interviews. Preliminary analysis suggests that the major themes of trauma, resilience, and the importance of community will be highlighted. This project will add to the current literature by utilizing a qualitative framework in order to underscore the role of community in African American women’s stories of trauma and resilience. The Listening Guide is an ideal method for this study, as it will allow us to be more attuned to the complex and nuanced ways in which these women experienced trauma in the context of their community. References: Breslau, N., Kessler, R.C., Chilcoat, H.D., Schultz, L.R., Davis, G.C., & Andreski, P. (1998). Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in the community. JAMA Psychiatry, 55(7), 626-632. Ford, J.D. (2011). Ethnoracial and educational differences in victimization history, trauma-related symptoms, and coping style. Psychological trauma: Theory, research, practice, and policy, 4(2), 177-185. Gapan, M., Cross, D. Ortigo, K., Graham, A., Johnson, E., Evces, M., Ressler, K.J., & Bradley, B. (2011). Perceived neighborhood disorder, community cohesion, and PTSD symptoms among low-income African Americans in an urban health setting. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82(1), 31-37. Gilligan, C., Spencer, R., Weinberg, M. K., & Bertsch, T. (2003). On the Listening Guide: A voice-centered relational model. In P.M. Camic, J.E. Rhodes, & L. Yardley (Eds.). Qualitative research in psychology: Expanding perspectives in methodology and design (pp. 157-172). Washington, D.C.: American Psychology Association.


Friday March 6, 2015 10:45am - 12:00pm
Monterey/Carmel