Date of Conferral





Human Services


Lillian Chenoweth


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the experiences and perceptions of African American women who reside in a nursing home and to understand African American women's decisions for admitting to the facility. Social Learning Theory was applied to answer the question of how African American women's experiences and perceptions toward long-term care influence healthcare decisions and admission to a nursing home. Eleven participants interviewed in the study were at least 60 years old, admitted into the facility within the past two years and who had not previously resided in a nursing home. Yin's five step approach to data analysis, NVivo and Microsoft Office to gather data from African American women who live in a nursing home. Participants in this study described their perceptions of nursing homes as places they never thought they would reside in and expressed that African American families traditionally "took care of their own." As a result, participants stated nursing homes were not an option normally considered within their families. Decisions to admit to a nursing home were based on family work schedules which resulted in lack of supervision at home, increased nursing care, and financial reasons. Cultural competence was an important factor in helping them adjust to a nursing home environment despite cultural norms. This research can contribute to social change by providing awareness and identifying health behaviors and cultural beliefs regarding the use of long-term care facilities by African American women despite cultural norms. The findings of this study can also create positive social change movement in nursing homes to deliver resident-centered care and empowering staff.