Tending to Ourselves: The Role of Self-Compassion and the Superwoman Schema in the Gendered Racism- Psychological Distress Link in a Sample of Black Women
Self-compassion and the Superwoman schema were examined as potential moderators of the link between gendered racism and psychological distress in a sample of Black women. Gendered racism, or the compounded experience of racism and sexism, is associated with poor mental health outcomes, including traumatic stress, depression and anxiety symptoms, and psychological distress in Black women. Gendered racial microaggressions, the everyday, subtle manifestations of gendered racism, can be experienced as a chronic stressor. Stress theory posits that self-concepts are internal resources that can impact the severity of a stress outcome elicited by a chronic stressor. This study explored whether the self-concept of self-compassion, treating oneself with kindness and nonjudgmental awareness in painful situations, could act as a protective factor and negatively moderate the pathway between gendered racial microaggressions and psychological distress. This study also explored the self-concept of the Superwoman schema, which may act inversely to self-compassion. Internalization of the Superwoman schema, which is the self- expectation of strength, self-reliance, and self-sacrifice in the face of challenges, was hypothesized to act as a risk factor and positively moderate the same pathway. An online study was conducted with 88 Black women across the United States. Findings indicate that frequency of gendered racial microaggressions, self-compassion, and Superwoman schema were each significant predictors of psychological distress, but self-compassion and Superwoman schema did not moderate the relationship between gendered racial microaggressions and psychological distress. The results indicated that further investigation of self-concepts that can impact the gendered racism-psychological distress link is warranted.
Psychology|Womens studies|Mental health|Black studies|Social psychology
Nwakanma, Okeoma, "Tending to Ourselves: The Role of Self-Compassion and the Superwoman Schema in the Gendered Racism- Psychological Distress Link in a Sample of Black Women" (2022). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI29325584.