Date of Award

7-1-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert W. Waymer

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Lyle

Third Advisor

Dr. Makungu Akinyela

Abstract

As the United States is in the midst of a proclaimed time of economic distress it is essential to identify the methods which families demonstrate skills of survival. This study is based on the premise that African-Americans have a self-made kin support system and culture which provide resources and skills for the betterment of the family unit. A quantitative methods design is used to identify and prioritize the resources and behaviors utilized by African-American families in time of declared economic crisis.

Through the Africultural Coping Skills inventory this study identifies that African-American families within the Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia area use a great deal of the identified cultural-specific coping mechanisms. In addition, results from the modified version of the Satisfaction with Life Scale demonstrate that the study participant, who served as their African-American family representative, perceived their well-being as positive.

A thorough analysis of the study's resulting data and a discussion are provided alongside review of concepts from Afrocentric theory and resource exchange theory. Several recommendations are provided as a result of this analysis and discussion. Recommendations are also provided in hopes of ensuring that continuous efforts are made to document and expose the positive attributes found within African-American family and culture are noted as a natural form of resilience.

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