Racial Identity, Womanist Identity, and Issues Impacting First-Year African American College Women At A Predominantly White University: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study

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Title: Racial Identity, Womanist Identity, and Issues Impacting First-Year African American College Women At A Predominantly White University: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study
Author: Johnson, Deborah Elyse
Advisors: Herbert Exum, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate relationships between racial identity and gender identity in first-year African American college women attending a predominantly White university and to explore the women's views about the salience of race and gender as well as issues impacting them. The Womanist Identity Attitudes Scale (Ossana, Helms & Leonarad, 1992) was used to assess Womanist Identity Development--a stage-wise-model. The Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (Sellers, Rowley, Chavous, Shelton & Smith, 1997) was used to assess the ideologies of the Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity (MMRI)--a model in which there are no qualitative differences between the ideologies nor an optimal level of development. A focus group format was used to gather information for the qualitative component. Several hypotheses predicting relationships between Womanist identity development and racial identity development could not be addressed due to a lack of representation among most of the Womanist stages. An analysis of descriptive data revealed that, with the excepton of one participant, all members of the sample held Womanist Internalization attitudes. Therefore, the hypotheses relating the other three Womanist stages--Pre-encounter, Encounter, and Immersion/Emersion--with the various MMRI ideologies could not be investigated. To investigate the hypothesis predicting a relationship between the Womanist Internalization stage and the Minority Ideology, chi-square analysis was used. Chi-square analysis comparing actual and expected frequency distributions for the MIBI Ideology scale scores for participants in the Womanist Internalization stage revealed that there was no evidence to suggest that there might be a relationship between the Womanist Internalization stage and the MMRI Minority ideology. Information obtained from the focus group revealed that: (1) race is, by far, more salient than gender; (2) skin color matters; (3) prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes still exist; (4) relationships--including dating--with other African American students are a concern; and (5) the women are perplexed about all of these issues.
Date: 2004-07-25
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Counselor Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5912


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