Publication Date


First Advisor

Joan Lesser

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


African American women, African American women health, Black women health, Black women, Black women chronic illness, African American women chronic illness, Black women wellness, Black woman well being, African American women-Health and hygiene, Chronically ill-Mental health


Finding support for African American women with chronic illnesses is challenging. It often requires these women to identify, cultivate, and nurture practice structures that go beyond medical structures already in place to aid in the maintenance of their health conditions. Outside of these structures, the resources needed to support the women are limited. They do not include the scope of modalities necessary to address their unique health presentations and holistic need for medical, emotional and spiritual health. Additionally, intersecting systems of oppression pose challenges to African American women when trying to access resources that could support their overall well-being. This research study explores the lifestyle practices and healing practices created and sought out by African American women with chronic illnesses to support their well-being while juggling diagnosis, doctors’ appointments, pain management, parenting and navigation of systems that often and unnecessarily present additional challenges and undermine quality of life.


29 pages. Includes bibliographical references (page 23). Master of Social Work--Smith College School for Social Work, 2019.

Included in

Social Work Commons