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Ethn Dis. 2005 Autumn;15(4):594-600.

The development of a race and gender-specific stress measure for African-American women: Jackson, Hogue, Phillips contextualized stress measure.

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Department of Epidemiology, Women's and Children's Center, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.



Community-based research was conducted to develop an identity stress measure for African-American women. The aim of the investigation was to capture the voices of African-American women telling their experiences of stress and support and to have their voices inform the development of an identity stress measure representing the realities of being Black and female. In this paper, we describe the components of a race and gender-specific stress measure emerging from a multidisciplinary iterative process that employed qualitative and quantitative methods.


The research was initiated by focus groups and interviews where women were asked to share their experiences of stress and support. Four hundred seventy-four (474) African-American women from the metropolitan Atlanta area collaborated in the study by participating in one or more phases of the research. Content analysis of the qualitative data informed the development of a 71-item race and gender-specific stress measure for African-American women. The scale and a battery of validity measures (Spielburger Anger and Anxiety, John Henryism, and NHIS-depression) were administered twice over a 30-day period followed by group discussions and interviews.


Content and factor analysis resulted in the development of six subscales: racism, burden, personal history, work, support/coping, and stress states. The measure has been validated with established measures of anger, anxiety, depression. Significant correlations were established for all of the stress subscales and measures of anger (trait anger, anger-in, anger-out, and anger expression). Findings indicate significant correlations for the burden subscale and anger-in (r=.33, <.01) and stress states and trait anxiety (r=.57, <.01).

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