Black feminist scholars posit that the Strong Black Woman stereotype (SBW) is a compelling image that depicts Black women as strong, independent, and self-sacrificing. Research suggests SBW internalization is related to mental and physical health problems. This study asked Black college women open-ended questions on several SBW-related topics. Thematic analysis of approximately 90 participants revealed definitions of SBW, including, strong, independent, hardworking, and caring. Contrary to SBW’s positive perception, the majority of participants reported SBW’s negative effects on their health, highlighting SBW’s paradox. Findings increase awareness of the SBW stereotype for mental health professionals who work with Black college women.
Women & Therapy
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