Date of Award

5-1-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name

D.A.H.

Department

Africana Women's Studies

First Advisor

Professor Josephine Bradley

Abstract

This study examines the association between women with characteristics of Africana Womanism and hypertension (high blood pressure).

An analysis was performed using data from the National Survey of Black Americans to determine the association between women with characteristics of Africana Womanism and hypertension. Data analysis consisted of univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses. An analysis of the data revealed that characteristics of Africana Womanism serve as a protective factor for hypertension in African-American women. The association between women with characteristics of Africana Womanism and hypertension when adjusting for age indicates that women with characteristics of Africana Womanism were 0.56 times as likely to have hypertension.

African-American women have one of the highest rates of hypertension in the United States. The intersection of gender, race, and class has a direct impact on the health of African-American women. Cultural theoretical frameworks are critical for understanding the complex interaction of gender, class, and race on the prevalence of hypertension in African-American women and for eliminating the disparity in cardiovascular health outcomes experienced by African-American women as compared to white women.

Adopting a theory such as Africana Womanism provides the necessary framework from which African-American women understand their lived experiences. It allows them the opportunity to operate from a positive cultural framework on a daily basis. Operating from this framework decreases the amount of stress and conflict that arises when African-American women operate from alien constructs such as feminism. Thus, by reducing the amount of stress and conflict, there should be a reduction in diseases-physical and mental. Africana Womanism offers internal resources that provide invaluable coping strategies for African-American women to fight the twin barrels of racism and sexism that they experience in the United States.

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