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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Shamika Y.L. Hall
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Counselor Education and Counselor Psychology
Title: A Phenomenological Study Assessing African-American Women’s Perspectives on Successful Heterosexual Relationships
Dr. Mary Z. Anderson, Chair
Dr. Nicholas A. Andreadis
Dr. Delores D. Walcott
Date: Friday, July 13, 2007 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The purpose of this dissertation is to understand successful African-American relationships from the perspective of African-American females. Recognizing the impact of structural factors on African-Americans, as well as the limits of imposing Eurocentric definitions of successful relationships, this study seeks to understand how African-American women themselves describe successful relationships and to identify factors that have influenced their ideas about what is required for them to have healthy, happy, long-lasting, and nurturing relationships. The design of the present study is informed by findings from the Stephens-Williams (1992) study of successful African-American relationships, as well as a broader review of structural, sociological, and psychological systems influencing African-American relationships. In this study, participants will have certain characteristics, such as identifying themselves as African-American women and having experience with heterosexual relationships. A phenomenological approach is used to explore how African-American women define their relationships, understand the messages and factors that have influenced their ideas about successful relationships and explore what they feel makes or would make their relationships successful.