The superwoman schema and the mediating factors of coping strategies and help-seeking attitudes for depression in African American women
James, Erica Latriese
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This study sought to investigate whether or not the Superwoman Schema has a potential impact on the psychological health status of African American women. The research study examined (1) the relationship/influence of the superwoman schema on the experiences of psychological distress among African American women; (2) the relationship/influence of the superwoman schema on the coping styles of African American women; (3) the relationship/influence of the superwoman schema on the help-seeking attitudes of African American women; and (4) the potential mediating role coping styles and help-seeking attitudes play between the superwoman schema and African American women’s experiences of psychological distress. All 105 participants were female, 18-65 years of age, and self-identified as a person of African descent. Participants were assessed using the Superwoman Schema Scale (SWS), the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D), the Attitude Towards Seeking Professional Psychological Help (ATSPPH), the Africultural Coping Systems Inventory (ACSI) and a demographic questionnaire. The study found a relationship between the superwoman schema and depression. Additionally, superwoman schema was positively correlated with coping styles and help-seeking attitudes. Help-seeking attitudes and coping styles did not mediate the relationship between depression and the superwoman schema. This research study emphasizes the importance of identifying culturally-specific influences that effect psychological well-being.