Department

Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

Winter 1-28-2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Bryana French

Abstract

Holistic wellness, a fairly new construct defined by scholars in various ways, consists of several domains with a focus on taking deliberate actions to live a satisfying life. Various models, including Hettler’s six-dimensional model, the Wheel of Wellness, and the Indivisible Self Model of Wellness, have been developed to highlight varying dimensions of wellness. These models have little psychometric evidence and/or have focused primarily on White populations. A dearth of research has explored the multidimensional construct of holistic wellness, as it relates to Black Americans. Neither has there been research on how Black Americans conceptualize holistic wellness and the aspects that contribute to it. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore what aspects contribute and how meaning is made regarding holistic wellness among Black Americans. A qualitative phenomenological research design was utilized, and semi structured interviews were conducted with 11 Black adults. Participants completed a screener for holistic wellness across eight dimensions. Thematic analysis guided the data analysis, resulting in two overarching themes: facilitators and facets of holistic wellness. Facilitators of wellness were components that assisted participants in becoming well, and two themes were identified: (a) Wellness is a Journey and (b) Family Messages. There were two subthemes to Wellness is a Journey, which were (a) Intentionality in Practice and (b) Personal Learning. Facets of wellness are dimensions of holistic wellness; eight themes were identified and included: (a) Spirituality and Religion, (b) Emotional Intelligence, (c) Cultural Engagement, (d) Physical Wellness, (e) Communalism and Belonging, (f) Continual Learning, and (g) Work Fulfillment and Financial Stability. Results demonstrated that participants in this study conceptualized holistic wellness as a multidimensional construct that is interconnected, such that the dimensions impact one another. Participant perceptions of wellness were both similar and iv unique to existing models and suggested culturally specific definitions of wellness exist for Black Americans. Key findings, contribution of findings, limitations, implications for practice, and recommendations are discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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