Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Public Health

Advisor

Patrick Tschida

Abstract

Native Americans have high rates of teen births and intimate partner violence, though little is known about how historical trauma impacts these experiences. The research that has been conducted on teen pregnancy and violence has been among reservation-based Native Americans; little research has been conducted on the experiences of urban Native Americans. The research question for this study examined the potential impact of historical trauma on the lives of parenting urban Native Americans. This phenomenological study gathered the narrative lived experiences of participants via semistructured interviews. Purposeful random sampling was used to recruit 7 parenting urban Native American teens aged 18 to 25 residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Interview responses were transcribed and entered into NVivo11© to support the analysis. Nine themes were identified: chaos; trauma; violence; family, with the subcategory of negative family experiences; responsibility; altered life plans; historical trauma as defined by past events; traditions; and sense of belonging. It was not explicit how historical trauma as defined in the literature had impacted the lives of urban Native Americans and how they raised their children. However, the participants experienced violence and trauma, which impacted outcomes in their lives. The social implications of this study are that it supports the development of culturally sensitive interventions targeted towards urban Native Americans. The findings of this study identified gaps in services for urban Native Americans that community groups and other agencies can use to develop or expand targeted support services focused on urban Native American needs.

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