Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Manship School of Mass Communication

Document Type



Black women have historically experienced racism, sexism, and higher rates of detrimental health conditions. Black mothers have to contend with all of those issues plus the added responsibility of parenthood. This research examines the experiences of Black mothers after the COVID-19 pandemic and sheds light on the roles that social media played in those experiences. The Socio-ecological Model and Transactional Media Effects Theory are the guiding theoretical frameworks to look at the factors that influence life at all levels and to understand the influence of social media on those experiences.

This study found that personal issues, relationships, community environment, and societal troubles have all affected Black mothers and their health since the pandemic ended. During that time, Black mothers interacted with social media as a form of escape, in a highly tailored way to avoid negativity, or not at all. In addition, social media was found to have conflicting influences on Black mothers and their children while internal and external pressures had a significant impact on the mental well-being of the participants.



Committee Chair

Joshua Grimm


Available for download on Saturday, May 22, 2027