DATE: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
TIME: 12:30 p.m
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Bettye Jean Ford
DISSERTATION TITLE: "Transmission of Generational Trauma in African American Gang Members"
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-B; 2006
CHAIR: Dr. Michael Sipiora
READER: Dr. Wendy Phillips
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Bryon Nichols
Ford, B. (2013). Transmission of Generational Trauma in African American Gang Members (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2013)
The purpose of this study was to investigate gang membership as a coping skills resulting from the impact of the traumas of African American slavery transmitted generationally. Specifically, it was hypothesized that African American gang membership is an all encompassing coping mechanism for transmission of trauma via poor attachment, learned helplessness and depression. Additionally, it was postulated that the maladaptive coping skills, poor attachment and social deficiencies are developed as a result of Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome.
Descriptions of the lived experiences of four African American gang members were gathered from structured interviews and assessment scales. A Townsend Gang Activity Assessment Tool (TGAAT), Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Learned Helplessness Scale (LHS) and Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) were administered. It was anticipated that the participant with high gang activity would also have poor attachment styles, clinical depression and exhibit signs of learned helplessness.
Results revealed a definite relationship between high gang activity, poor attachment, depression and learned helplessness. Participants reported extreme physical abuse, alcohol / drug addiction, mental health issues, rejection, and a higher percentage of negative relational adjectives with regards to their relationship with their parents. While the participants reported feeling as though the effects were positive in how they regard their own children. Three of the four participants were not consistent in their parenting or visitation with their children. The fourth participant was female and her child was under one year of age at the time of the interview.Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.