Conceptualizations of Interpersonal Violence: A Narrative and Psychophysiological Exploration of Trauma in Low-Income Black Women 公开

Duncan, Anna Elizabeth (2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/0v8381376?locale=zh
Published

Abstract

Beginning with case studies of hysteria in the 1800s and continuing through studies of "shellshock" of World War I, trauma has been subject of academic inquiry for several centuries. The introduction of the diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the DSM-III (1980) sparked a proliferation of research on trauma, with increased attention to the impact of interpersonal violence against women. The present study uses a mixed-methodology of quantitative and qualitative research methods to holistically examine the impact of interpersonal violence on an under-researched population of low-income, highly traumatized Black women. The quantitative portion of the study analyzed participant fear potentiated startle scores in order to assess for exaggerated startle response, a psychophysiological symptom of PTSD. Startle scores demonstrated that participants who experienced traumas of interpersonal violence in adulthood had significantly higher startle scores than those who experienced non-interpersonal traumas, suggesting that trauma type is associated with severity of psychophysiological reaction. The qualitative portion of the study used Glaser and Strauss's (1967) method of grounded theory to analyze and better understand how participants conceptualized their traumas of interpersonal violence. Analysis of the narratives revealed high levels of emotional blunting and normalization of the traumas, with little meaning-making and reflection. The results presented a discrepancy between heightened startle response and comparatively low levels of emotional reactivity in the narratives, pointing to dissociation between conceptual and psychophysiological responses to trauma. After completing the startle and narrative analyses, scores on the Beck Depression Inventory (II), Anxiety Sensitivity Index and Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale were analyzed to see level of post-trauma psychopathology for each participant. Self-report measures showed high levels of depression, anxiety sensitivity and resilience among the sample. The results demonstrate a complex picture of trauma: high levels of emotional blunting in the narratives contradict the high acoustic startle responses and psychophysiological arousal. Additionally, high levels of resilience and patterns of posttraumatic growth emerged as potentially important factors in understanding trauma. The results of the present study are exploratory, and implications of future research of trauma in underrepresented minority populations are discussed.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………..1

Historic Understandings of Trauma……………………………………………………….2

Current Understandings of Trauma and PTSD……………………………………………5

PTSD in Relation to Other Variables……………………………………………...5

PTSD, Gender and Race…………………………………………………………..7

Psychophysiological Reactivity as a Symptom of Trauma………………………………..8

Shattered Sense of Self as a Reaction to Trauma………………………………………..10

Narrative Approaches to Trauma………………………………………………………...11

Qualitative Research Methods…………………………………………………………...14

Current Study…………………………………………………………………………….16

Methods…………………………………………………………………………………………..17

Participants……………………………………………………………………………….17

Narrative Participants…………………………………………………………….18

Psychophysiological Startle Participants………………………………………...18

Procedure………………………………………………………………………………...19

Psychophysiological Assessment………………………………………………..19

Narrative Collection, Transcription and Analysis……………………………….21

Results……………………………………………………………………………………...……23

Quantitative Fear Potentiated Startle Results……………………………………………23

Narrative Sample Startle Outcomes……………………………………………..23

Grady Trauma Project Community Sample Outcomes…………………………27

Qualitative Narrative Analysis Results………………………………………………….31

Reflexivity and Positionality as a Researcher……………………………………31

Summary of Narrative Analyses…………………………………………………………49

Discussion………………………………………………………………………………………..52

Psychophysiological.………..…………………………………………………………...52

Narrative…………………………………………………………………………………54

Qualitative Findings……………………………………………………………...54

Self-Report Measures…………………………………………………………….56

Narrative Conclusions……………………………………………………………58

Potential Relationships Between Quantitative and Qualitative Findings………………..60

Broader Considerations…………………………………………………………………..61

Grady Trauma Project Population……………………………………………….61

Limitations and Future Directions……………………………………………………….63

References……………………………………………………………………………………….65

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
关键词
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
最新修改

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files