Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 154 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Hayward D Horton

Committee Members

Glenna Spitize, Karyn Loscocco, Kate Strully


Black Women, Family Type, Gender, Health, Race, SWANS, Single women, African American single people, African American women, Married women, Childlessness, Childfree choice, Family policy

Subject Categories

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Sociology


Decreasing rates of marriage and the delay of motherhood or decision to forsake childbearing altogether are emergent trends in the United States. Historically, shifts in family composition have always been important, yet the increase in the number of unmarried and child-free adults is rarely acknowledged by health researchers. Race and family type will be used to investigate the health of Black and White unmarried, childless women (SWANS), using intersectional theory, the Social Determinants of Health, and the Sojourner Model. The frequencies of poor health outcomes are analyzed to determine if family type influences health outcomes, and if so, does this differ by race. Using secondary data from the 2010-2013 Integrated Health Interview Series (IHIS) and binary logistic regression, results indicate that the main independent variables of race and family types interact to differentiate health outcomes.