Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Shawn O. Utsey, PhD

Second Advisor

Kristina Hood, PhD


In the U.S., Black mothers experience fetal and infant mortality at alarming rates when compared to White and Latina mothers (Gregory, Drake, & Martin, 2018). The intent of this study was to examine perinatal loss among Black American women and to expand understanding of how the Strong Black Woman (SBW) ideology influences bereavement. Data were gathered from (N=109) Black American bereaved mothers. It was predicted that endorsement of differing aspects of the SBW would moderate the relationship between perinatal grief and psychosocial outcomes (i.e., depression and post-traumatic growth). Regression analyses, alongside a bootstrapping procedure via PROCESS (Hayes, 2017), were used to evaluate the moderation models. Results yielded a model of perinatal bereavement among Black American mothers. In particular, reliance on spirituality moderated the relationship between perinatal grief and depression, while the obligation to manifest strength moderated the relation between perinatal grief and posttraumatic growth (PTG). Neither moderated moderation model was significant. The model provided significant implications for clinical practice and intervention.


© Ashley Hill

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission