Shattering the concrete ceiling: exploring the moderating effects of mass media messages as it relates to the perceived self-efficacy of African-American women

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University of Alabama Libraries

Past research has shown that there are few positive ethnically diverse role models in American society (Hackett & Betz, 1981). African-American women have identified the lack of racially identical role models as a significant barrier to attaining leadership positions within Corporate America. A cross-sectional survey was administered to explore how mass media images depicting counter-stereotypical images of African-American role models affect the self-efficacy beliefs of African-American women (195 respondents, 51%). The researcher also examined the participant’s ability to cope with stress and their reported level of career aspirations as predictors of their level of identification with the potential role model. The results indicated that African-American women have lower levels of both self-efficacy and career aspirations than women of other races (187 respondents, 49%). The results also indicated that the participant’s ability to cope with stress and level of career aspirations predicated their level of identification. Furthermore, the study found that a potential role models race significantly influenced the participants level of identification. This research will foster social change by identifying an effective approach to combating historical stereotypes that lower the self-efficacy of African-American women. Increasing the self-efficacy of African-American women could advance opportunities for minority women’s leadership and reduce the leadership gap in Corporate America.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Mass communication, African American studies, Business administration