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Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 95–107 | Cite as

Examining the Burdens of Gendered Racism: Implications for Pregnancy Outcomes Among College-Educated African American Women

  • Fleda Mask Jackson
  • Mona Taylor Phillips
  • Carol J. Rowland Hogue
  • Tracy Y. Curry-Owens
Article

Abstract

Objectives: As investigators increasingly identify racism as a risk factor for poor health outcomes (with implications for adverse birth outcomes), research efforts must explore individual experiences with and responses to racism. In this study, our aim was to determine how African American college-educated women experience racism that is linked to their identities and roles as African American women (gendered racism). Methods: Four hundred seventy-four (474) African American women collaborated in an iterative research process that included focus groups, interviews, and the administration of a pilot stress instrument developed from the qualitative data. Analysis of the qualitative and quantitative data from the responses of a subsample of 167 college-educated women was conducted to determine how the women experienced racism as a stressor. Results: The responses of the women and the results from correlational analysis revealed that a felt sense of obligations for protecting children from racism and the racism that African American women encountered in the workplace were significant stressors. Strong associations were found between pilot scale items where the women acknowledged concerns for their abilities to provide for their children's needs and to the women's specific experiences with racism in the workplace (r = 0.408, p < .001). Conclusions: We hypothesize that the stressors of gendered racism that precede and accompany pregnancy may be risk factors for adverse birth outcomes.

stress racism reproductive health pregnancy outcomes gendered racism African American women 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fleda Mask Jackson
    • 1
  • Mona Taylor Phillips
    • 2
  • Carol J. Rowland Hogue
    • 3
  • Tracy Y. Curry-Owens
    • 3
  1. 1.Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlanta
  2. 2.Spelman CollegeAtlanta
  3. 3.Rollins School of Public HealthEmory UniversityAtlanta

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