Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

McCubbin, Laurie

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Mitchell, Amanda

Committee Member

Mitchell, Amanda

Committee Member

Washington, Ahmad

Committee Member

Immekus, Jason


racial microaggressions; colorism


The intersectionality of racism and sexism of Black women has the possibility of leading to mental health symptoms due to the consistent and persistent experience of insidious trauma, specifically gendered racial microaggressions (GRM). In this study, we examined the relations between gendered racial microaggressions (GRM) and trauma/PTSD symptoms, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms among Black women. Additionally, skin tone and hair style/texture were explored as moderating variables. We hypothesized a positive relation between GRM and symptoms of trauma/PTSD, depression, and anxiety. We also hypothesized that darker skin tones and more Afrocentric hairstyles would moderate GRM and the described mental health symptoms. Participants included 171 Black women (M = 31.25 years). Results from regression analyses indicate that GRM is a predictor of symptoms of trauma/PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Skin tone and hair style/texture alone were not significant predictors of trauma, depressive, or anxiety symptoms. Additionally, the interaction effect of GRM and skin tone and GRM and hair style/texture were not moderators for trauma/PTSD, depressive, and anxiety symptoms. The results suggest that a better understanding of the intersectionality of Black women’s identities and the experiences of insidious trauma will help to further understand the mental health impact and needs of Black women.