Friday, March 6, 2015
Social Science, Room 415
“Intergenerational Family Loss Trauma among Substance Using Native American, Latina, and Caucasian Mothers”
Executive Director of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women and Distinguished Outreach Professor in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies
University of Arizona
The relationship between experiences of trauma and substance abuse disorders among women is documented in the literature. Specifically, the negative impact of the loss of one’s children and other family members on women has been examined and therapeutic interventions have been implemented to address such loss. This presentation builds on this literature by examining the experiences of intergenerational family loss trauma among 226 mothering female substance users from three racial/ethnic groups; Native American (26.5%), Latina (24.8%), and Caucasian (48.7%). Demographic information, substance use, intergenerational exposure to mothering, and other family traumatic loss will be compared across racial/ethnic groups. Outcomes from this analysis indicate both similarities and significant differences in demographic characteristics, type of drug use, and family loss experiences - with a higher percentage of Native American women reporting intergenerational family loss experiences. The link between intergenerational family traumatic loss and substance abuse will be explored along with social policies that perpetuate such loss. These findings along with recommendations for effectively intervening at the individual, family, and policy levels will be discussed.
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