Online Program

Working through bound liberation: A local and global process framework for improving women's health

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tiffany McDowell, PhD, Institute on Social Exclusion, Adler University, Chicago, IL
Nataka Moore, PsyD, Department of Clinical Psychology, Adler University, Chicago, IL
Background: Mechanisms to promote well-being and social capital are essential to fully address women's needs. There is a dearth of literature detailing a focus group process that is an assessment and intervention simultaneously, and the subsequent implications of this type of model. Objective: Our objective was to become vested members of the community with the understanding that our liberation is bound with theirs. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study on arrest, employment, and mental health with African American women in Chicago. Three focus groups were conducted with 24 women, with ages ranging from 18-55. Women were recruited using convenience sampling at two community partner organizations. We used joining techniques to facilitate engagement of the participants. Focus group transcripts were coded by five independent reviewers for themes relating to engagement. Results: The majority of participants discussed the value of participating in the group as cathartic. Themes of improved sisterhood, empowerment, and reinvigoration emerged as a result of participation. These learnings were used to develop an advocacy project with South African women. Conclusions: Working through bound liberation moved each project from a research focus to a conversation among women. Our joining techniques shifted the emphasis to support the women's experiences, which gave opportunities to break down barriers between academics and participants. The concepts of joining and sisterhood can be translated in multiple contexts. Implications of this work could expand the application of community-based research to create effective tools for change.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe use of joining as a process framework for women’s health across the lifespan

Keyword(s): Women, Well-Being

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Doctorate in couple & family therapy. I have been involved in community-based research and worked in communities for over ten years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.