Intersectional Stressors and Black Women’s Health in Established Adulthood
Health disparities research confirms relatively poor physical health of Black women vis-à-vis other race-gender groups. Though some research has sought to identify the extent to which social factors explain disparities between Black women and other race-gender groups, the possibility of race-gender specific social mechanisms undergirding these disparities remain underexplored. Moreover, in life span development research, the age range of 30 years to 45 years has recently been identified as a critical life course period referred to as established adulthood (Mehta et al. 2020). This stage is characterized by deep engagement with familial and work roles which could potentially elicit stress for individuals who also hold multiple marginalized statuses. Using data from a cohort of Black women, in this talk, I will explore how two recently developed gendered-racialized stress measures influence Black women’s health during established adulthood. Social mechanisms that may mitigate the influence of intersectional stressors on Black women’s health will also be discussed. Last, I will describe the implications of this work for health disparities research as well as empirical studies that adopt social stress and intersectional theoretical orientations.