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Baker, Tamara A.; Buchanan, Nicole T.; & Spencer, Tirzah R. (2010). Commentary: Disparities and Social Inequities: Is the Health of African American Women Still in Peril?. Ethnicity & Disease, 20(3), 304-309.


An amalgam of health concerns differentially affects the behavioral, psychological, and physical well-being of African American women. These disparities are both the result of, and contributors to, marked differences in the perception, interpretation and treatment of various psychological disorders and chronic medical conditions. Data show that African American women are diagnosed with more chronic and debilitating illnesses than found in the general population, and are often misdiagnosed with a myriad of psychiatric and medical disorders. Despite these findings, ambiguity remains about the contextual factors that affect the physical and mental well-being of African American women. The focus of this review was not to describe all psychological or medical conditions with deleterious outcomes among African American women, but rather collectively address identified mental and physical health issues prevailing among African American women. This approach addresses the urgent need to better understand the health needs of African American women in the United States, and demonstrates how advancing our knowledge of this marginalized group may lead to sustaining mental and physical health-related dialogue, while advancing policy.

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Ethnicity & Disease


Baker, Tamara A.
Buchanan, Nicole T.
Spencer, Tirzah R.