Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Faye Belgrave


Gender role beliefs of African American women in the United States should be investigated in a manner that considers their unique experiences and the distinct background of her cultural sharing group. In this study, gender role beliefs of African American women were examined by addressing the research question: What are the gender role beliefs of African American women for African American men and women? Eight focus groups comprising 44 African American women were conducted. Women were diverse in terms of age, religion, and socio-economic status. An ethnographic phenomenological approach was used to explore views related to gender roles among African American women. Nvivo 8, a qualitative data analysis software program, was utilized to code transcribed focus group data. Eight themes and 11 subthemes emerged from the data and were divided into three categories: gender role beliefs for women, gender role beliefs for men, and relevant contextual factors. Themes for gender role beliefs about women were 1) Having Multiple Roles, 2) Dedication to Care of Others, 3) Perceived Social Inferiority, and 4) Strength. Themes for gender role beliefs about men were 5) Lack of Commitment, 6) Strength, and 7) Mental and Emotional Immaturity. The theme that captured related contextual factors of gender roles was 8) Personal and Socio-historical Experiences of African Americans. Knowledge of gender role views can help provide a better understanding of human behavior and assist in the development of culturally specific interventions.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012

Included in

Psychology Commons