Theoretical considerations for the development of urban black adolescent females

Marquitta S. Dorsey, Abigail Williams-Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We explore the theoretical frameworks of ecological systems theory, intersectionality, and multi-dimensionality to examine the dynamics of the environment as it relates to the development of Black adolescent females who grow up in urban settings. Frameworks such as intersectionality and multi-dimensionality specifically urge attention to multiple identities and social categories related to race, sex, and class that impact the everyday life for people of color. We argue negotiations regarding multiple identities are unique for Black adolescent females. It is important to explore these frameworks as developmental processes are impacted by navigating systems and power dynamics that may stifle the developmental process for Black adolescent females. This review specifically addresses barriers and milestones unique to urban Black adolescent female development that targets 21st century challenges. Implications for social workers at each ecological domain are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-66
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Black
  • adolescence
  • social development
  • strengths approaches
  • theory


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