Date of Award

Spring 6-22-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Forensic Psychology



First Advisor

Veronica E. Johnson

Second Reader

Kevin Nadal

Third Advisor

Silvia Mazzula


In the United States, African American women are not only more likely to have experiences of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) but experience some of the severest forms of it. The presence of Afro-cultural values can play a significant role in the therapeutic outcomes of women who do seek out treatment after their experiences of CSA. That is, Afro-cultural values such as spirituality, communalism, utilization of the Black Church, and adherence to the Strong Black Women archetype (SBWA) can impact the efficacy of treatment for Black female survivors of CSA. The purpose of this study is to assess the separate relationships that these values have on Black women’s engagement in therapy, whether they experienced symptom relief, and whether they continued therapy. Results indicated that both spirituality and the Strong Black Women archetype were significantly related to therapeutic outcomes. These findings broaden clinical understanding of values that impact the treatment of Black women and has the potential to enhance multicultural competencies among mental health professionals.



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