Personal experiences with racial discrimination are common for Black/African-Americans and Doctoral student Leeza Reyburn has shown interest in this area and has designed her own research study on the bias toward Black/African-American women.
According to an article written by senior researcher Monica Anderson on pewresearch.org, “roughly eight-in-ten blacks with at least some college experience (81 percent) say they’ve experienced discrimination, including 17 percent who say it happens to them regularly.”
Reyburn has not experienced acts of discrimination and racism herself; however, she wants to bring attention to the issue and how African-American women can process these experiences in their lives.
As an African-American woman, Reyburn has chosen to conduct this research because she has a personal interest in this study of having the same heritage and witnessing the problems African-American women can encounter. This is due to the negative impact that society enacts against them as members of an oppressed group.
Reyburn is a fourth-year student studying clinical psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. Her research on this topic consists of scholarly articles from various journals within the field of clinical psychology as well as previous dissertation research conducted by doctoral students of psychology and social sciences as well.
Reyburn said, “For my dissertation research, I am trying to observe two factors, that of post-traumatic growth and racial trauma as they apply to Black/African-American identified women.”
Post-traumatic growth is the idea that a person can experience positive change as a result of a traumatic event. This can mean finding new opportunities through a crisis that weren’t there before, experiencing closer relationships with others that may have suffered traumatic events and also an increase in a person’s emotional strength after suffering through a crisis.
Racial trauma is the effects of racism on an individual’s mental and physical health. Feelings of anxiety, depression, and suicide are all factors from the effects of racism.
There are two parts to the research study, a 21-item questionnaire, and the second part as a phone interview that should take no more than an hour depending on the participants’ experiences and what they wish to share.
The questionnaires and phone interviews consist of asking the participants’ questions related to their lived experiences, such as ranking statements and reflecting on various ways that these experiences may have impacted them.
Reyburn said, “I am looking for at least eight more participants to fulfill my research requirements of studying the life experiences of 10 or more people who have had these experiences, specifically Black/African-American women.”
If interested in participating in this research study, feel free to email the researcher at [email protected].