Ep 1: Honoring the Voice of Black Adolescent Girls w/Dr. Marquitta Shree Dorsey

This week Dawn talks with Marquitta Shree Dorsey, PhD, MSW, MBA, about the stressors black adolescent girls face in today’s society. We explore the impact of modern technology on how girls interface with the world, offer tips for parents, and examine the devalued feelings girls experience by school authorities.

Dr. Dorsey is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago. Her research aims to inform interventions that serve Black adolescent females from low-income communities, the second largest group of teen mothers in the United States.

Note from the Stiletto Revolution #1: Black girls have a voice. Listen to them.

Bio: Marquitta Shree Dorsey, PhD, MSW, MBA

As an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago, Dr. Marquitta Dorsey’s research aims to understand factors related to the teen birth experience for Black females. Ultimately, she aims to inform interventions that serve poor black adolescent females, the second largest group of teen mothers. Dr. Dorsey’s dissertation study sought to determine a scientific relationship between teen childbearing among poor Black females and involvement by biological fathers during their childhood.  She collected retrospective data from a sample of low-income Black mothers living in Los Angeles County.  In addition to examining paternal involvement, she included other variables of possible importance to a young girl’s relationship with her mother, such as her mothers’ marital status, childbearing history and whether early childbearing predicts problems later in life with self-esteem, welfare dependence, and lower educational attainment.  Dr. Dorsey considers these issues to be important because the birth rate disparity with respect to early childbearing before age 20 is particularly prevalent among Black adolescent females who also are disproportionately poor. While her dissertation study did not find expected relationships, she did find that women in her sample who did give birth to their first child before the age of 20 were daughters of mothers who also had their first child before the age of 20. Dr. Dorsey will continue this line of inquiry, both empirically and theoretically.

Drawing upon nearly 17 years of practice experience, Dr. Dorsey has contributed to several community-based initiatives and professional undertakings that address the needs of disenfranchised and marginalized groups, largely that of single-female-headed households. One goal is to engage students in this body of work which aims to inform prevention, intervention, and theoretical frameworks most relevant to the well-being of Black women and girls experiencing economic disadvantage. Among the many course taught by Dr. Dorsey including Issues in Treatment with Women, Policy and Advocacy in Social Work, Social Work in Juvenile Justice Settings, Leadership and Management in Social Work and Community Practice for Social Innovation, she currently teaches Human Behavior in Social Environment at the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago.

Dr. Dorsey received her Ph.D in Social Welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles, Masters of Social Work from the USC Susan Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, a Masters of Business Administration from American Intercontinental University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from East Tennessee State University.