Though many African Americans have had to cope with a number of adversities (e.g., poverty, dangerous neighborhoods, and racial hostility), they manage to overcome their circumstances and develop into healthy adults. For example, the literature on Black girls elucidates some of the distinct challenges and highlights positive trends and resiliency strategies faced by this group. Yet, there are gaps in available research. The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that contributed to the success of two African American women despite the many challenges and obstacles they faced growing up in a low socio-economic, urban environment.
This study explored the factors that contributed to the personal resiliency and success of these women. Using data collected through interviews, this narrative inquiry allowed them to tell their stories. Through constant comparative methods, the women’s stories were analyzed to look for factors within a resiliency framework, including external factors and internal factors to answer the two questions of this study.
The study found four overarching resiliency factors supported these women in their youth: caring relationships, a network of social support, culture and ethnic identity, and self-concept. When these protective resilience factors were nurtured, a positive outlook was fostered and both individuals exhibited positive behaviors that lasted into adulthood. But, what drove that upward spiral toward positive outcomes? In this study, a fifth factor — hope—appears to have influenced greatly the success of these women. The findings of this study are consistent with research indicating that the construct of hope is a source of resilience with demonstrated protective qualities and positive outcomes, especially for African Americans.
|Commitee:||Howard, Joanne, Rosch, Teryl ann|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||African americans, Hope, Protective factors|
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