Date Awarded

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Victoria A. Foster

Committee Member

Charles McAdams

Committee Member

Emilie Godwin


The purpose of this study was to investigate perceptions of womanhood among African American female adolescents, and whether or not their perceptions consisted of aggressive or violent behavior. Black Feminist Thought and Social Constructionism were theoretical perspectives used to frame this qualitative study. Six African American female adolescents from two different cities participated in this study. Data collection included a semi-structured interview with each participant separately, transcribing each interview, downloading transcribed data into a qualitative data analysis program, and combing data for themes. This study attempted to answer to primary questions: How do Inner City African American female adolescents view womanhood? How does aggressive or violent behavior play a role, or not, in African American adolescent perceptions of womanhood? Data analysis revealed several themes from participant’s interviews: strength, responsibility, education, mom as role model, stereotypes, and finances. Limitations and implications for future research are also discussed.



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