Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Shawn C.T. Jones


Racism-based traumatic stress is a pernicious factor that negatively affects Black Americans' physical, psychological, and emotional wellbeing from “crib to coffin” (Jones et al., 2020). Self-care, specifically radical self-care, has been implicated as a critical and potent way to prepare for and cope with racial distress (Bari, 2020; Cooper et al. 2017; Lorde, 1988; Tesema, 2020). Nevertheless, the extant literature does not earnestly give developmental consideration to the concept of radical self-care. However, this is a grave oversight, as Audre Lorde, the foremother of radical self-care, herself intimated that self-care be taken up and integrated as a practice as early as possible. Boykin’s & Toms’s (1985) Triple Quandary model suggests that Black parents must racially socialize their children to navigate an oppressive society. Lesane-Brown (2006) and Hughes and colleagues (2006) highlight a myriad of practices and strategies that parents can take up to conduct this racial socialization. It is possible that messages and practices of self-care may or could be integrated into the broader framework of the familial racial socialization process. However, to date, we do not know whether parents consider self-care in racial socialization and, if so, what these messages or behaviors look like. This study used a qualitatively-dominant, mixed-methods approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) to explore Black caregivers’ (N = 8) beliefs, meaning-making, and practices regarding the socialization of their children to self-care as a racial coping and resistance strategy. Results of the qualitative analyses revealed a number of sub themes and focused codes related to the core tenets, practices, and messages of self-care, self-care socialization processes, and the role of self-care within the context of racial socialization. The participants’ scores on survey questions were used to describe their contexts, worldviews, and racialized experiences and informed interpretations of their responses to interview questions. Considerations as to how these findings add to the literature on radical self-care and racial socialization are discussed, as are research and clinical implications, and areas for future research. This work could unearth an area ripe for intervention for Black families, particularly in the modern era of radical healing and Black liberation.


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Available for download on Monday, August 16, 2027