Article

In the company of my sisters: Sister circles as an anxiety intervention for professional African American women

Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, United States.
Journal of Affective Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.71). 03/2011; 129(1-3):213-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.08.024
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sister circles have been used within African American communities to raise awareness about physical health. The possibility exists that sister circles could be used to educate and teach women strategies about managing anxiety and panic. In this paper we examine professional Black women's conceptualization of panic attacks and other related anxiety issues. Then, we explore the feasibility of sister circles as a psycho-educational anxiety intervention for African American professional women.
Four focus groups (n=37) were conducted. Focus group interviews were transcribed and were coded into three categories: (a) a major theme; (b) a minor theme; or (c) an off-topic comment. Specifically, we generate information regarding the key content and research components of a sister circle for African American female professionals.
Focus group members saw a distinct difference between anxiety and panic. The number of African American women who experienced was seen as low. Women felt sister circles were a nice vehicle for helping African American women manage their anxiety and panic. Confidentially was a key component. Sister circles for anxiety and panic were seen as a natural outgrowth of African American women's professional networks.
Limited data were collected on participant's anxiety levels.
Overall, sister circles were seen as feasible interventions for African American professional women. The data from the focus groups were used to enhance the development of a sister circle intervention for anxious professional African American women.

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