Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Gretchen Heidemann-Whitt


The research uses the framework of emotional labor to analyze the effect of gendered racism on mental health, physical well-being, and burn out of African American women who provide mental health crisis response. The focus on the emotional toll an African American woman experiences while dealing with clients who may respond with racist and/or sexist actions or words. Also explored are coping strategies and protective factors while managing the stressors of sexism and racism while working in a mental health crisis response. The study uses in- depth interviews to explore the lived experiences of African American/Black women. Axial coding links emerging themes of the effect of gendered racism and emotional labor on Black women working in crisis response. A post-positive and qualitative design assisted in exploring the cost of emotional labor on Black women and coping strategies used when faced with the specific triangulation of oppression, gendered racism, and crisis work. Findings are that women utilize friends and coworkers to debrief and process gendered racism on the job. Also, the majority of women interviewed cited healthy coping skills and unhealthy coping skills as a way to minimize and compartmentalize gendered racism while working.

Included in

Social Work Commons