Advertisement

Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 71–78 | Cite as

Lifespan Development Revisited: African-Centered Spirituality Throughout the Life Cycle

  • Evangeline A. Wheeler
  • Lena M. Ampadu
  • Esther Wangari
Article

Abstract

Traditionally in the field of psychology, most theories were developed from the perspective of scholars from Western culture. Because of this, the generality of such theories is usually limited, especially when applying them to people of African descent who have experienced different realities of life as a function of worldwide racial oppression. Especially lacking in the theories is a consideration of the role of spirituality in the development and psychological well-being of people of African descent. The authors discuss the problems of Western theories using Erikson's model of life-span development as an example. They present the definition of spirituality using an African-centered lens, and then propose a synthesis between Western and non-Western developmental theories with the issue of spirituality placed in the center of analysis.

African psychology African American spirituality African spirituality psychological oppression spiritual psychology 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Akbar, N. (1981). Mental disorders among African Americans. Black Books Bulletin, 7(2), 18-25.Google Scholar
  2. Ani, M. (1997). Let the circle be unbroken: African spirituality in the diaspora. New York: Nkonimfo.Google Scholar
  3. Awanbor, D. (1982). The healing process in African psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 36(2), 206-213.Google Scholar
  4. Azibo, D. (1991). Towards a metatheory of African personality. Journal of Black Psychology, 17(2), 37-45.Google Scholar
  5. Azibo, D. (1989). African-centered theses on mental health and a nosology of Black/African personality disorder. Journal of Black Psychology, 15(2), 173-214.Google Scholar
  6. Baldwin, J. A. (1986). African (Black) psychology: Issues and synthesis. Journal of Black Studies, 16(3), 235-249.Google Scholar
  7. Baldwin, J. A. (1985). Psychological aspects of European cosmology in American society.Western Journal of Black Studies, 9(4), 216-223.Google Scholar
  8. Baldwin, J. A. (1984). African self-consciousness and the mental health of African Americans. Journal of Black Studies, 15(2), 177-194.Google Scholar
  9. Baltes, P. B., & Baltes, M. M. (Eds.). (1990). Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Buhrmann, M. V. (1987). Living in two worlds: Communication between a white healer and her black counterparts. Wilmette, IL: Chiron.Google Scholar
  11. Cartwright, S. A. (1851). Diseases and peculiarities of the Negro race. New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, 7, 691-715.Google Scholar
  12. Clark, K. B., & Clark, M. P. (1940). Skin color as a factor in racial identification of Negro pre-school children. Journal of Social Psychology, 11, 159-169.Google Scholar
  13. Clark, K. B., & Clark, M. P. (1939). The development of consciousness of self and emergence of racial identification in Negro pre-school children. Journal of Social Psychology, 10, 591-599.Google Scholar
  14. Dahl, O. (1995). When the future comes from behind: Malagasy and other time concepts and some consequences for communication. International Journal for Intercultural Relations, 19, 197-209.Google Scholar
  15. Dixon, V. (1976).Worldviews and research methodology. InL. King (Ed.) African philosophy: Assumptions and paradigms for research on Black persons. Los Angeles: Fanon Research and Development Center.Google Scholar
  16. Dubois, K. E. (1999). Racial identity, Afrocentric orientation and well-being among African American women. Dissertation Abstracts International, 59(9B).Google Scholar
  17. Edwards, K. L. (1994a). A cogno-spiritual model of psychotherapy. In R. Jones (Ed.), Advances in Black psychology (Vol. 1). Hampton, VA: Cobb and Henry.Google Scholar
  18. Elkins, D., Hedstrom, L., Hughes, L., Leaf, J., & Saunders, C. (1988). Toward a humanistic-phenomenological spirituality: Definition, description and measurement. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 28, 5-18.Google Scholar
  19. Erikson, E. H. (1950). Childhood and society. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  20. Gould, S. J. (1993). American polygeny and craniometry before Darwin. In S. Harding (Ed.), The “racial” economy of science (pp. 84-115). Indiana University Press: Bloomington.Google Scholar
  21. Guthrie, R. V. (1998). Even the rat was white: A historical view of psychology (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  22. Hurston, Z. N. (1990). Their eyes were watching God. New York: Harper's Collins.Google Scholar
  23. Jackson, G. (1980). The African genesis of the black perspective in helping. In R. L. Jones (Ed.), Black psychology. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  24. Jagers, R. J. & Smith, P. (1996). Further examination of the spirituality scale. Journal of Black Psychology, 22, 429-442.Google Scholar
  25. Jones, A.C. (1989). Psychological functioning in African-American adults: Some elaborations on a model, with clinical applications. In R. L. Jones (Ed.) Black adult development and aging (pp. 297-307). Berkeley, CA: Cobb and Henry.Google Scholar
  26. Kambon, K. K. (1998). African/black psychology in the American context: An African-centered approach. Tallahassee, FL: Nubian Nation.Google Scholar
  27. Kohlberg, L. (1984). The psychology of moral development: The nature and validity of moral stages (Vol. 2). New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  28. Lambo, T. A. (1974). Psychotherapy in Africa. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 24, 311-326.Google Scholar
  29. L´evy-Bruhl, L. (1928). How natives think. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  30. Marshall, P. (1983). Praisesong for the widow. New York: Putnam's.Google Scholar
  31. Maslow, A. H. (1962). Toward a psychology of being. Princeton,NJ: Van Nostrand.Google Scholar
  32. Mattis, J. S. (2000). African American women's definitions of spirituality and religiosity. Journal of Black Psychology, 26, 101-122.Google Scholar
  33. Mbiti, J. S. (1975). Introduction to African religion. Oxford: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  34. Mohanty, C. T. (1991). Under Western eyes: Feminist scholarship and colonial discourses. In C. T. Mohanty, A. Russo, & L. Torres, (Eds.), Third world women and the politics of feminism (pp. 51-80). Indiana University Press: Bloomington.Google Scholar
  35. Morgan, L. H. (1877). Ancient society. New York: Henry Holt.Google Scholar
  36. Nobles, W. W. (1980). African philosophy: Foundations for Black psychology. In R. L. Jones (Ed.), Black psychology (2nd Ed.). New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  37. Nobles, W. (1976). Extended self: Re-thinking the so-called Negro self-concept. Journal of Black Psychology, 2(2), 15-24.Google Scholar
  38. Piaget, J. (1952). The origins of intelligence in children. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  39. Potts, R. (1991). Spirits in the bottle: Spirituality and alcoholism treatment in African-American communities. Journal ofTraining and Practice in Professional Psychology, 5, 53-64.Google Scholar
  40. Spencer, H. (1876). Principles of sociology.NewYork: D. Appleton.Google Scholar
  41. Stein, R. (1996). Remembering the sacred tree: Black women, nature and voodoo in Zora Neale Hurston's “TellMyHorse” and “Their EyesWere Watching God.” Women's Studies, 25, 465.Google Scholar
  42. Walker, A. (1982). The color purple. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  43. Welsing, F. C. (1991). The Isis papers: The keys to the colors. Chicago: ThirdWorld Press.Google Scholar
  44. White, J. (1972). Toward a black psychology. In R. L. Jones (Ed.), Black psychology (1st ed.). New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  45. Wilson, A. N. (1993). The falsification of Afrikan consciousness. New York: AfrikanWorld InfoSystems.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evangeline A. Wheeler
    • 1
  • Lena M. Ampadu
    • 1
  • Esther Wangari
    • 1
  1. 1.Towson UniversityBaltimore

Personalised recommendations