Date of Graduation

Summer 8-31-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

David A. Martínez, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Dhara Meghani, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Andrea Zorbas, Psy.D


Black Deaf people are a double minority group that faces discrimination on multiple fronts. There is little literature on the relationship of cultural identity development and mental health concerns of this marginalized group. This study employs a mixed method approach to examine this relationship and explore the extant culturally tailored interventions targeted towards Black Deaf adults in a clinical setting. There were two phases of this project. Phase 1 included qualitative interviews with service providers of black deaf people to ascertain the type of culturally tailored interventions that are in place for this population. 5 themes emerged: systemic issues, mental health implications, intervention, cultural humility, and Black Deaf culture. Phase 2 consisted of a survey including demographics and self-report measures of depression, anxiety, identity development, and coping behaviors to understand the interrelations of identity development and mental health among the Black Deaf population. This study hypothesized that a stronger or healthier cultural identity will lead to better psychological well-being. Results suggest that this is true as lower stages of identity development were related to symptoms of depression and use of denial as a coping strategy. For clinicians providing culturally responsive care they should be intentional and a make genuine decision to see, respect, and celebrate the aspects that make Black Deaf adults unique. It should be an acknowledgement of their intersectional existence in the world while acknowledging their own bias and blind spots. Cultivating culturally responsive mental health care means fostering an environment where clients are fully seen in all aspects of their identity through a holistic, antiracist, antiaudist approach to therapy.