Excavating New Constructs for Family Stress Theories in the Context of Everyday Life Experiences of Black American Families

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Journal of Family Theory & Review






Much of what happens inside Black families involves spillover effects and consequences of macro-level stressors. Racism is a major stressor that cascades through Black families' lives, with detrimental consequences for their everyday life experiences. To understand ways in which Black families successfully navigate social, environment, and cultural pressures and constraints, we sought to gain insight into these processes by conducting a systematic, deep excavation, in order to (a) critically examine the adequacy and accuracy of traditional frameworks used to study stress in Black American families, (b) determine whether the studies of stress in Black families in the era of the first Black family in the White House stimulated new areas of research, and (c) advance the field of stress research in general and for Black Americans, in particular, by proposing a heuristic model anchored in a historical, contextual, life-span perspective, with emphasis on culturally specific strengths-based coping adaptation.