Background: The representation of Black women in the media has notoriously changed throughout the years (Griffin, 2014). Many stereotypical media messages of Black women have strong negative undertones. These messages can greatly impact Black adolescent girls, as images may influence their development of self. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the validity of using an adapted Brief Black Media Measures Questionnaire in a sample of Black adolescent girls. Method: As part of a larger study that utilized a culturally-infused stress and anxiety intervention, we collected data from 201 urban Black adolescent girls. We assessed the frequency, appraisal, and identification of stereotypical images of Black women by administering an adapted Brief Black Media Measures Questionnaire (BBMMQ). This validated questionnaire was adapted to include more modern images of Black women as well as more simplified questions. Results: The factorability of the 9 items BBMQ was examined. Skewness and kurtosis values were acceptable, indicating data were normally distributed. An exploratory factor analysis revealed 3 Factors, which is expected given that three stereotypical images of Black women: promiscuous, angry and caretaker are used in the original measure. Conclusion: Our findings support the validity of the adapted BBMQ in a sample of urban Black adolescent girls. Future research should explore utilizing the adapted BBMQ in national samples of Black adolescent girls.
Feasibility and Effectiveness of a Musical Cognitive Restructuring App for Black Middle School Girls03/21/2017
Increasingly, mobile applications are becoming a useful tool in behavioral health interventions. Whereas a number of tools have been developed for use with adult populations, apps specifically designed for youth and minority populations are sorely lacking. In this study we examine the feasibility and effectiveness of a musical cognitive restructuring app to assist Black adolescent girls in managing their negative thoughts. We hypothesized that girls would like the idea of an app, find it helpful to reduce anxiety, and use it on a daily basis to manage negative thoughts. Eighty-eight girls were enrolled in the Sisters United Now (S.U.N.) anxiety intervention. As part of the intervention, girls were introduced and taught to use the SUN app. Girls’ belief about the app prior to, during, and after using the app were assessed. Data was analyzed both quantitatively (X2) and qualitatively (open-coding). Quantitative data indicated girls were excited to use the app, enjoyed recording their theme song, and believed the app would help with anxiety. Both quantitative and qualitative results indicated the initial app was feasible.
However, data indicated effectiveness would be enhanced by the following:
1. Expanding app capabilities beyond musical cognitive restructuring
2. Development of an app that could be placed on girls’ smart phone
3. Development of an internal social media presence
4. Integration of the app with all sessions of the SUN program
Based on this information, the app was upgraded. Effectiveness and feasibility of the upgraded version is currently being assessed.
The Acting White Accusation is one of the most negative accusations an African-American adolescent can receive from one another. This accusation is typically put on African-Americans whenever they engage in behaviors that are deemed “white”. These behaviors range from speaking proper English, dressing preppy, or even placing value into academia. In hopes to further understand the relationship between The Acting White Accusation and perceived stress levels, our lab administered two separate assessments to approximately 81 female African-American adolescents. Our first assessment was a perceived stress measure which had both quantitative and qualitative components. The second assessment tested for bother intensity due to The Acting White Accusation. We hypothesized that girls who were more bothered by the accusation would have higher perceived stress. We also hypothesized that our inner-city students would report higher levels of perceived stress compared to our diverse school. A bivariate correlation was performed. Results indicated a positive correlation between the two measures (r=0.369 and p=0.035 r2=0.13). We also examined differences in perceived stress amongst sites. A t-test was performed and results indicated higher amounts of reported perceived stress amongst the diverse school compared to the inner city middle school. (t=-2.252 and p=0.027). Considering this site has a vast amount of diversity among race and socioeconomic status, it poses the question as to whether the Acting White Accusation could have an influence on these elevated stress levels. The findings of implications for education around The Acting White Accusation in schools are discussed.
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