Clinicians' diagnoses of Black women in the therapeutic space
Master of Social Work
School for Social Work
Narviar C. Barker
Black women, White women, Implicit bias, Explicit bias, Diagnoses, Intersectionality, Multicultural competency, Stereotypes, Cultural archetypes, Discrimination, Intersectionality (Sociology), Stereotypes (Social psychology), Cultural competence, Archetype (Psychology), Mental illness-Diagnosis, Black women-Psychology, White women-Psychology
This was a mixed methods study that used both random and non-random purposive snowball convenience sampling. The purpose of the study was to investigate whether clinicians issue more severe psychotic DSM diagnoses (schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders) to Black female clients than to White female clients when implicitly primed with cultural archetypes unique to Black women. The research questions were, “Do clinicians issue more severe and stereotype-consistent diagnoses to Black female clients than they do to White female clients;” and “Is there a difference in reaction time in clinician diagnosis of severe psychotic disorders between a clinically-identical Black female vignette and a White female vignette?” Two hypotheses were tested for this study: (1) Despite identical symptomatology, the Black female clinical vignette will be assigned more severe psychotic diagnoses than the White female clinical vignette; and (2) Clinicians diagnosing the Black female clinical vignette with a severe psychotic diagnosis will demonstrate quicker reaction times than clinicians diagnosing the White female clinical vignette with a severe psychotic diagnosis, which shows an implicit bias. The study’s most significant findings were: (1) Data did not yield significant evidence to show that more diagnoses of psychotic disorders were assigned to the Black female vignette than to the White female vignette; and (2) Although clinicians were found to spend more time diagnosing the White female clinical vignette than the Black female vignette, the difference was not significant. The study consisted of 48 participants
DuBose, Kim Teresa, "Presenting image/presenting symptoms : clinicians' diagnoses of Black women in the therapeutic space" (2016). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.