Document Type

Conceptual Paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Welfare (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Charcella Green


This paper examines the role of the social environment and physical environment,specifically injustices within the environment as possible intervening variables influencing disparities in health and life expectancy of African-American women. Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2014, Black women in the United States (USA) had a life expectancy three years lower than the national average life expectancy for women overall and endured the lowest average life expectancy compared to other races of women (CDC, 2016a). The researcher references the Afrocentric Perspective, identifies Critical Race Theory as a conceptual framework, and proposes causal factors as biopsychosocial and epigenetic theories (Ford & Airhihenbuwa, 2010). This paper seeks to introduce theories as factors that should be considered in research when asking the question: What causes the difference (health disparity) between Black women's life expectancy in the USA and the overall life expectancy for all women in the USA