TitleAn exploratory study of family of origin influences on African-American women's experiences in the workplace
NameEvans, Ebony Tamaya (author), Boyd-Franklin, Nancy (chair), Riggs Skean, Karen (co-chair), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
African American women--Employment,
African American families,
DescriptionA qualitative research methodology incorporating a case study approach was utilized in this exploratory study that investigated the impact of family of origin dynamics on African American women’s experiences in the workplace. Ten single, African-American women participated in the study and were interviewed about their current work and past family of origin experiences. This research builds upon a previous study of White women (Philpot, 2004) and examines the extent to which individuals replicate the interpersonal patterns learned in their family of origin at work. Specifically, this study asked individuals to discuss five topics regarding their family and work-related experiences: relationships, authority dynamics, methods for dealing with conflict, role dynamics and influence of race and gender. Interviews were conducted by the same gender, same race investigator of the study. Case analyses were then completed for each interview and overlapping themes were examined across family and work domains in a side by side table. Findings from the study revealed that the participants did replicate some of the interpersonal patterns learned in their family of origin at work. Additionally, six major themes from the interviews were identified: (1) religion was important in participants’ family of origin; (2) female authority figures were dominant in participants’ family of origin and at work; (3) participants held various roles in their family of origin and at work; (4) participants dealt with conflict directly at home and at work; (5) race influenced interactions with family members and colleagues; and (6) gender influenced interactions with family members more often than colleagues. Implications for organizational professionals and managers are discussed. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, generalizability of the findings is limited. Instead, the findings should be used to contribute to future research in this area by incorporating larger samples of African- American women and exploring these issues in studies with other ethnic groups and men.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 181-185)
Noteby Ebony Tamaya Evans
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.