Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Kathie Records, PhD, RN, FAAN


Kathie Records, PhD, RN, FAAN

Peggy Ward Smith, PhD, RN

Kuei-Hsiang Hsueh, PhD, RN

Brenda Bethman, PhD


ABSTRACT Obesity among adults in the United States is a significant problem of growing proportions. Black women have a higher rate of obesity than other women but there is a paucity of research about the experiences and perspectives of plus-sized Black women. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experience of plus-sized Black women living in an urban area. Ten participants were interviewed guided by open-ended interview questions. All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Colaizzi’s (1978) phenomenological method was used to identify themes within the data. Data analysis resulted in three themes: the meaning of plus-size, health consequences resulting from being plus-sized, and psychological consequences. Participants described current health conditions they associated with remaining plus-sized and specific circumstances or activities they had not participated in because of their weight. Women shared their desire to modify their lifestyles, but none had made changes at the present time. Findings suggest that participants with secondary education were better equipped to handle being plus-sized, with sufficient resources and jobs that placed values on one’s appearances. These factors appear to help women overcome the stigma of being a plus-sized Black woman.

OCLC Number


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Nursing Commons