How do college-educated African American women understand and cope with financial distress? Grounded theoretical methods were used to explore (1) how this demographic group defines the sources of its financial distress and (2) the strategies that the group uses to cope with the challenges of its circumstances. Overall, the findings suggest that, regardless of the source of their financial problems, African American women turn to multiple sources for support. Traditional sources noted in previous literature, such as family and faith-based activities, were prominent in the narratives of respondents. However, these were insufficient to move these women beyond financial hardship and the accompanying emotional distress. As a consequence and as final resorts, grounded theoretical findings suggest that financial counseling, management, and professional therapy assisted these women to some economic stability.

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