Theses and Dissertations



Adams-Price, Carolyn E.

Committee Member

Nadorff, Danielle K.

Committee Member

McKinney, Cliff

Committee Member

Gardner, Antonio

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Immediate Worldwide Access

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Applied Psychology (Clinical Psychology)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Despite an increase in research regarding the healthcare outcomes and experiences of diverse groups, some significant gaps in the literature remain. Among the most understudied and underserved groups are those with intersectional identities. Although researchers have made significant efforts to increase research regarding health care experiences of people of color, older adults, and rural populations, less is known about the health care experiences of older rural African Americans. Due to the lack of research focusing on the unique experiences of this intersectional group, qualitative research was an important first step towards broadening this research base. This study utilized a cultural safety perspective of older rural African Americans to provide insight into several factors that influence their healthcare experiences. Prior to this study, no qualitative research utilizing the cultural safety framework has been conducted to examine the unique challenges that older rural African Americans face within the United States healthcare system or how their experiences may impact later treatment-seeking behavior and treatment adherence. To address this gap in the literature, this study examined the lived experiences of a sample of 47 African American participants, aged 55 and older, living in rural Mississippi. Participants completed semi-structured interviews regarding their health care experiences and attitudes. Thematic analysis was used to identify common themes. Some of the most prevalent themes were related to the importance of good communication, the importance of positive experiences in creating trust, and patients advocating for their own health. Specific implications and future research directions are discussed.