Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


African American teenage girls-Psychology, Blacks-Race identity, Social isolation, Theoretical, Adolescent identity development, Black adolescent girls, Racial isolation


This theoretical study offers insight into how racial isolation experienced by Black adolescent girls living and educated in white spaces hinders their overall wellbeing and sense of identity. By focusing on Black adolescent girls who are raised and educated in predominantly white settings, my research adds and expands the often rigid and incomplete narrative that is found in academia regarding the psychosocial functioning and development of Black adolescent girls. This research uses both Erikson's model for Adolescent Development and Objectification Theory to illuminate the challenges posed by the encompassing experiences of racial isolation on positive self-image and identity development for Black adolescent girls raised and educated in predominantly white spaces. Finally, this research closes with recommendations, relevant for both clinicians and educators to more effectively work with Black adolescent girls who are both raised and educated in predominantly white spaces, and offers insight into available resources and supports for this population group.




iii, 64 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 59-64)