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African Americans’ Cultural Construct

James Goggans

Trident University

Instructor: Dr. Maria Luque

MHS502 Cultural Diversity in Health Sciences

1 May 2022

Family Roles and Organizational Construct

Head of Household

The woman, the mother, heads most African American families. However, a significant number of households are also headed by men.

Gender Roles

There is controversial information about gender roles in African American culture. However, most studies indicate that African American women are more masculine and possess masculine traits. They are documented to be stronger, more independent, and reliable (Noel, 2018). On the other hand, African American men are said to be weaker and more emotional. In terms of occupation, there is a thin line between male and female roles, and the same applies to house duties.

Goals and Priorities

African Americans live for different goals and priorities, including religion, family, and career. Depending on individuals, people may devote most of their time to what they believe is a priority.

Developmental Tasks

African Americans have shown to respect stages of life and have the desire to be able to do certain things at a certain age. They believe there are developmental tasks for adolescents, adults, and even the aged. People also experience developmental crises as they try to adapt to new tasks. For example, African American female adolescents struggle with gender and racial identity development at this stage (Leath et al., 2019).

Roles of aged

African Americans value aged people and believe their wisdom contributes to the well-being of society. Older people also guide raising children and other important issues. They are a valuable source of wisdom to the younger generation too.

Extended Family

Extended family members are recognized, and aunts, uncles, nephews, and others have an immense responsibility in families. The impact of the extended family is more significant in single-parent families because members of the extended family have to ensure that the children and parents are healthy and okay.

Social Status

African Americans hold low social status in American society. The pretax income is the lowest among African Americans in terms of income. The community is also recorded as the least healthy ethnic group.

Alternative Lifestyles

African Americans are quite flexible and easily adapt to the alternative lifestyle in health and social matters. A lot has changed over the past decades, and African Americans no longer live as enslaved people. Today, they have embraced the freedom to move to places they want, leave the normal sexual orientation, diet, family relations, and so on.

Workforce issues construct


African Americans report higher segregation demands compared to other ethnic groups. They are significantly discriminated against and experience overall negative acculturation conditions. They also experience higher levels of work-related stress due to harsh environmental conditions at the workplace. However, most African Americans use assimilation as an acculturation strategy, which often fails due to lack of support.


African Americans show some level of autonomy which has become less significant over time. For example, they would only consume products that have been produced by themselves. African Americans also organized and implemented a series of rebellious activities to fight back the racial segregation from Americans. However, they have embraced the American culture, and their autonomy has been reduced.

Language Barriers

Language is a significant barrier holding African Americans back in American society. A culture that values standard English may not be favorable for blacks who speak African English variations. Language is a significant barrier in healthcare that makes access to healthcare a difficult task among African Americans.

Biocultural Ecology

Biological Variations

Americans exhibit genetic diversity, which results from demographic histories such as changes in the size of the population and environment. The common biological variations among the population include different levels of susceptibility to diseases, response to drugs, and even skin tone.

Skin Color

African Americans have dark and light skin tones depending on genes and other factors. Research shows that African Americans with a light skin tone are preferred and treated better because they are closer to whites than those with a dark skin tone. Their color is also used for identity, and African Americans have learned to be color-conscious to respond to the negative color reactions in social settings.


The culture of African Americans is rooted in the blend between European culture and the African cultures of central and west Africa. The culture, however, has been influenced by the American south and other environmental changes.


Self-reported genetic ancestry shows that 0.85 have native ancestry, 24.0% have European Ancestry, and 73.2% have African ancestry (Abuabara et al., 2020). Studies also indicate that most of the community members have genetic roots in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.


African Americans value the environment and care about climate change. They are more vulnerable to harsh environmental conditions, so they make efforts to keep the environment as safe as possible. They also belong to environmental groups, but their environmental interests have been omitted.

Pregnancy Construct

Fertility Practices

African Americans are twice as likely to have fertility issues than whites. African Americans consider infertility a taboo issue and do not discuss it openly (Scott et al., 2019). They are also less likely to seek fertility treatment. The obstacles to medical attention make the situation worse for African Americans.

Views toward Pregnancy

The community considers pregnancy as a significant healthcare and community aspect. Pregnant women seek high-quality prenatal care for the well-being of the mother and the baby. They respond to pregnancy in the best way possible and consider the satisfaction of themselves and the baby.

Pregnancy beliefs

A section of African American women believes some foods are harmful to the baby and may not eat them during pregnancy. They may also avoid moving so much and change their daily routine.


African American families significantly prepare for birthing and take necessary emotional, physical, and financial preparations. However, research shows that they do not receive high-quality maternal care like their white counterparts (Assari, 2018). African American women are easily dismissed and ignored when they are in labor, which often leads to the death of the mother or the child.


Child-rearing is considered a communal activity among African American families. Children are also considered of central importance in the community and are given maximum attention. African American women are more likely to experience postpartum depression compared to whites. They are also more vulnerable to maternal death.


Abuabara, K., You, Y., Margolis, D. J., Hoffmann, T. J., Risch, N., & Jorgenson, E. (2020). Genetic ancestry does not explain increased atopic dermatitis susceptibility or worse disease control among African American subjects in 2 large US cohorts. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 145(1), 192-198.

Assari, S. (2018). Parental education better helps white than black families escape poverty: National survey of children’s health. Economies, 6(2), 30.

Leath, S., Mathews, C., Harrison, A., & Chavous, T. (2019). Racial identity, racial discrimination, and classroom engagement outcomes among Black girls and boys in predominantly Black and predominantly White school districts. American Educational Research Journal, 56(4), 1318-1352.

Noël, R. A. (2018). Race, economics, and social status.

Scott, K. A., Britton, L., & McLemore, M. R. (2019). The ethics of perinatal care for black women: dismantling the structural racism in “mother blame” narratives. The Journal of perinatal & neonatal nursing, 33(2), 108-115.

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