Date of Conferral
Black on Black victimization amongst inner-city African American youth is a well-documented phenomenon. Less understood are the shared lived experiences of inner-city, middle-aged African Americans who have been victims of crimes perpetrated by African American youth. The purpose of this study was to understand the lived, shared experience of this population. Social ecological theory, psychological sense of community, and crisis theory served as the theoretical frameworks for the study. A qualitative method of phenomenological inquiry was used to gain insight into the meaning ascribed to the victimization experiences, as well as the resulting thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and life-impacting implications. In-person, audio-taped, semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 victimized, middle-aged African Americans. Data were analyzed using Moustakas' method of data analysis. The study produced seven major themes: (a) physical, psychological, and emotional responses; (b) coping, (c) hopelessness, (d) betrayal, (e) traditional values, (f) societal issues, and (g) disengaged acceptance. The data analysis indicated that African Americans residing in this metropolitan location struggle with myriad intraracial and intergenerational challenges; approaches to addressing the challenges were reflected in the seven major themes. The results of this study may contribute to an enhanced understanding of the effects of intraracial, intergenerational victimization, leading to the ability of the mental health community to effectively address the physical, psychological, and emotional outcomes of this victimization experience. This study may also lead to a decrease in mental health related issues and costs, as well as serve as a catalyst for conversation amongst stakeholders.