An Examination of African American Women's Post-Relational Growth Utilizing the Self-Determination Theory

Harifah Hendrickson, Tennessee State University


Anger, anxiety, and depression have all been linked to abandoning a relationship. Since most people will go through at least one breakup, which is linked to an increased risk of suicide, obsessive thoughts, mood swings, sleeplessness, anxiety, and despair, it is essential to understand the process of relationship disintegration. Following a breakup, post-breakup adjustment is critical. To date, studies have concentrated on the negative repercussions of relationship breakdown. However, the emphasis on positive consequences has been neglected. This study will examine how African American women cope after a relationship ends. This study will use a sample of 8-12 African American women who have undergone post-relationship development as a research technique and methodology. Two research questions guided this study. RQ1 was: How do African American women describe their post-relationship growth? Three themes were used to address this question; the first RQ1 theme was: overcoming barriers to permanent dissolution. Grief and self-doubt were the second RQ1 topic. The third RQ1 topic was embracing self-extent determinations and bounds. Similarly, the second RQ was: How do the descriptions of African American women regarding their post-relationship growth relate to the constructs of self-determination theory? The theme used to address this question was: Needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness were intrinsic motivators of post-relationship growth. The new study may add to the body of knowledge about post-relationship development in African American women. The data may also be utilized to compare African American women’s relationships with other women and relationship therapists dealing with women.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|Psychology|Womens studies|Social psychology|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Harifah Hendrickson, "An Examination of African American Women's Post-Relational Growth Utilizing the Self-Determination Theory" (2022). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI29211901.