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22-04-2016 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 5/2016

Mindfulness 5/2016

African American Women’s Perceptions of Mindfulness Meditation Training and Gendered Race-Related Stress

Mindfulness > Uitgave 5/2016
Natalie N. Watson, Angela R. Black, Carla D. Hunter


African American women experience stress-related outcomes due to race and gender (i.e., gendered race-related stress). Mindfulness meditation training (MMT), an intervention that facilitates increased self-regulation of stress, may reduce the effect of gendered race-related stress on African American women’s psychological and physical health. However, little is known about the perceived benefits and barriers African American women associate with MMT. The current study used the Health Belief Model to investigate how African American women’s (a) severity of symptoms, (b) expected benefits of MMT, and (c) perceived barriers to MMT contributed to their interest in MMT. Data from 12 African American women were analyzed with qualitative thematic analysis. Women reported a need for MMT given their gendered race-related stress experiences. Perceived benefits of MMT included easy accessibility, fit with existing daily activities, and positive health outcomes. Perceived barriers to use of MMT were incongruence with African American culture, stigma, caretaking tensions, and extensive time commitment. Themes are discussed with respect to their implications for increasing MMT engagement among African American women.

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