This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Creating Black Girl Magic: The Weight of Motherhood for Middle Class Black Mothers and their Preschool-Aged Daughters




Craig, Ania

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Human Development and Family Studies

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



Guided by an intersectional perspective, the current study was a qualitative inquiry into how the body image of six Black mothers impacted their mothering in regard to physical activity for their preschool-aged daughters. The focus on Black preschool-aged girls was designed to explore the mechanisms at play prior to the emerging obesity disparities in middle childhood in hopes of better understanding what sets them on that specific trajectory. This study integrated Black feminist and child development literatures to add to the small body of literature examining health disparities regarding obesity in the Black community using a strengths-based approach. Findings suggest that there is not a link between Black mothers’ body image and how they mother their daughters. Rather, their parenting is influenced by their shared history of racialized and gendered oppression and preparing their daughters to navigate those barriers. Practical implications and future directions are discussed.