Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

William Ming Liu

First Committee Member

Saba Ali

Second Committee Member

Stewart Ehly

Third Committee Member

Janette Taylor

Fourth Committee Member

John Westefeld


The current study was an attempt to increase understanding within the field about the self-conceptualization processes of African American women given the perceptions/ stereotypes that exist about them. Grounded theory methodology was utilized to ascertain participants' understanding of themselves as well as whether historical and/or contemporary perceptions/stereotypes impacted how they saw themselves. The African American women in this study tended to define themselves in positive terms. Often their self-definitions included perceptions/stereotypes that are typically thought to be socially desirable (e.g., strong and independent). The participants' self-definitions tended to exclude perceptions/ stereotypes that carry more negative connotations (e.g., loud and unintelligent). Future research should investigate the implications of perceptions/stereotypes for self-concepts of African American women who are also members of other traditionally oppressed groups.


1, v, 113 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 100-105).


Copyright 2010 Leslie Carol Leathers