African American women are at risk for many types and degrees of negative events over their lifespans. Furthermore, the negative effects of such experiences linger despite evidence of resiliency. Self-esteem, and one of its major correlates body image, is of critical concern for African American women. This is especially salient because in everyday life, their identity is often drawn in comparison to White women and dominant societal norms. However, little is empirically known about African American women's self-esteem as it relates to both socioeconomic status (SES) and racial identity development. In order to increase the knowledge base related to these factors, I examined the effects of SES and adherence to each of Cross' (1971) "Nigrescenee” racial identity developmental stages on African American women's reported self-esteem. A sample of 150 African American women aged 25 to 70 completed a demographic form that included SES indicators, the Racial Identity Attitudes Scale – Version B (RIAS-B) that measures African American racial identity, and the Self-Esteem Rating Scale (SERS) that measures self-esteem. None of the participants scored in the pre-encounter stage of racial identity development. Results also showed no significant interaction between overall racial identity and self-esteem. However, there was a significant interaction between SES and self-esteem, with self-esteem highest among subjects with high income. Post hoc analyses a significant main effect for subjects in the encounter stage with high socioeconomic status. No significant results were obtained for participants in the immersion/emersion or internalization stage of racial identity development. Limitations of the study and implications for future research arc also discussed.
|School:||Union Institute and University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Black studies, Womens studies, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||African-American, Economic status, Income, Racial identity, SES, Self-esteem, Women|
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