Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Sara Bridges

Committee Member

Alison Happel-Parkins

Committee Member

Edith Gnanadass

Committee Member

Rosie Davis


The purpose of this study was to disrupt and challenge how research and representation of transgenerational trauma in the field of psychology perpetuates the elision and erasure of African American women's experiences. In social sciences and the medical field, African American women are often described within trauma studies as either silent sufferers of substance abuse and interpersonal violence or perpetrators of lateral violence, child abuse/neglect, etc., which dislocates their personhood and complex nuances of their experiences (e.g. Broussard, 2013; Ponton III, 2018; Ricks, 2018). This study critiques, decolonizes, and de-pathologizes transgenerational trauma transmission (TTT) by using Black feminist intersectional and endarkened feminist theory with narrative and autobiographical methods to de-center W.E.I.R.D (Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich, Democratic (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010) epistemologies in psychology. By exploring how transgenerational trauma is named, narrated, and theorized from the perspectives of both the researcher and participants across culture, society, and systems, this project gives TTT “a new language” where African American women “narrate cultural histories not only premised on trauma but also creation, renewal, and mutual recognition” (Walker, 2012, p. 154). As a part of the study, five participants were interviewed about their experiences of transgenerational trauma. The representation of this project includes interpretive narratives which were co-created with the participants. This project also discusses the implications of studying TTT within African American communities using Transgenerational Trauma Alchemy as a psychospiritual framework and Womanist Psychology.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access