Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy

Academic Discipline

Community Psychology

First Advisor

Suzette Fromm-Reed, PhD

Second Advisor

Ericka Mingo, PhD

Third Advisor

Wytress Richardson, PhD


The current study sought to expand upon the Giscombé Superwoman Schema (2010) specifically exploring the role of vulnerability resistance and help obligation as potential barriers to changing comprehensive self-care health commitments in self-identifying Strong Black Women (SBW). The Superwoman Schema characteristics of vulnerability resistance and help obligation along with socio-economic factors of income, religious affiliation and marital status were assessed in the project using a visual-ethnography approach to Photo Voice methods and five intergenerational focus groups of SBW's born between 1946 and 2002. The collective self-care knowledge of these eighteen participants was analyzed using a participatory action research discussion framework to initiate the process of visualizing and verbalizing radical self-care changes through photos. Participants shared reactions to their own and others' photography to create a shared visual perspective of self-identifying Strong Black Women’s self-care barriers and strengths. Future research should include participant perceptions of Photo Voice methods, exhibition of participant self-care photography, and using Photo Voice as an inquiry method to examine socio-cultural and racial health disparities, stress management education and advocacy for self-identifying Strong Black women.