Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Counseling Psychology




Jason D. Reynolds (Taewon Choi), Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christiana I. Awosan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pamela F. Foley, Ph.D.


socialization messages, parental messages, Black women


Children often receive their first understanding of the nuances of society and how to navigate their experiences from parents and family members. Parents and family members of children of color have the additional task of teaching their children how to navigate through society as a person of color. The present study used grounded theory (Charmaz, 2014) and operated from a constructivist–interpretivist and critical–ideological paradigm (Ponterotto, 2005) to specifically explore the racial and ethnic socialization messages young Black women received in childhood and adolescence regarding the expectations of their roles in these relationships and how these messages impacted them throughout their young adulthood. Interviews focused on messages provided from family members about how they are expected to navigate through their romantic and interpersonal relationships. Messages related to the expectations of their roles in these relationships included five selective categories: 1) the expectation to put others’ needs before their own, 2) the importance of financial independence, 3) prioritizing the needs of their male romantic partner, 4) hiding and/or downplaying their sexuality, and 5) successfully managing work relationships. Findings related to how these socialization messages impacted participants in young adulthood included three selective categories: 1) long-term impact of racial and ethnic socialization by family members, 2) desire to have more nuanced conversations with family members, and 3) the realization of wants and needs within relationships. Clinical implications and future areas of research are discussed.