Betrayal Trauma, Acculturation and Historical Grief Among Native Americans

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Title: Betrayal Trauma, Acculturation and Historical Grief Among Native Americans
Author: Gray, Mary E.; Cromer, Lisa D.; Freyd, Jennifer J.
Abstract: Since European contact, Native Americans have experienced loss of life, land, and culture causing intergenerational trauma and unresolved grief (Yellow Horse Brave Heart & DeBruyn, 1998). Not surprisingly, identification with Native American heritage has been found to be affected by the individual's level of acculturation, or resistance to, dominant white culture, as well as ownership of traditional customs and beliefs (Garrett & Pichette, 2000). Acculturation studies in the extant literature report ways to measure acculturation and discuss the relationship between acculturation and psychological health. They do not however, examine the relationship of acculturation to intergenerational trauma. The current research documents prevalence rates of historical grief and betrayal trauma to better understand how these relate to acculturation. Native Americans in Oregon (N=45) participated in the study. Participants completed the Historical Losses Scale (Whitbeck et al., 2004), Native American Acculturation Scale (Garrett & Pichette, 2000) and the Brief Betrayal Trauma Survey (Goldberg & Freyd, under review). As predicted betrayal trauma is negatively correlated to acculturation r = .27, p <.05, meaning that Native Americans who are less acculturated to dominant white culture experience more trauma. Results are discussed in relation to historical losses and Native American diversity.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/4325
Date: 2005-11


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