Cultural Betrayal Trauma & the Transgenerational Legacy of Inequality in Marginalized Young Adults
The transgenerational legacy of societal inequality impacts marginalized youth and young adults, including their experience, meaning-making, and outcomes of interpersonal trauma. Created by Gómez (2012), cultural betrayal trauma theory (CBTT) highlights cultural betrayal in within-group violence in marginalized populations as a dimension of harm that affects mental, behavioral, and cultural health outcomes. In CBTT, within-group violence violates the (intra)cultural trust—solidary, love, loyalty, connection, responsibility—that is developed in-group to buffer against societal inequality. This violation, termed a cultural betrayal, can contribute to poorer outcomes. In this talk, I will first explain CBTT and detail its empirical support, with a focus on Black young adults in the U.S. I will close with micro- and macro-level implications for addressing and ultimately preventing violence in youth, including the importance of attuning to the context of transgenerational inequality, discrimination, oppression, and second-class citizenship for marginalized trauma survivors.
The session was originally presented as a live conference session in April 2021.
At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:
- Describe the context of Anti-Black racism in the United States
- Define cultural betrayal trauma theory and its tenets, including (intra)cultural trust, cultural betrayal trauma, (intra)cultural pressure, and predicted cultural outcomes
- Discuss the evidence for CBTT in Black and other marginalized youth
- Identify next steps for CBTT research, within and outside of American contexts
- Value the importance of cultural competency in addressing the impact of transgenerational inequality for Black American young adult survivors of interpersonal trauma
Presenter: Jennifer M. Gómez, PhD
Presenter Bio: Jennifer M. Gómez, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development (MPSI) at Wayne State University. She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 2017 from University of Oregon. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, scholarly writings, and pieces for the general public. Additionally, she is the lead co-editor of a special issue of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation—Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities (anticipated publication date: Spring 2021). She also is a Board Member and Chair of the Research Committee for the Center for Institutional Courage, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming institutional approaches and responses to trauma and inequality. Her research has been recognized by the National Academy of Sciences and funded by the Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs and Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR). By focusing on societal inequality’s role on the impact of violence for marginalized youth, young adults, and elders, Dr. Gómez uses her cultural betrayal trauma theory to both document harm and identify avenues of hope and healing for youth, families, communities, institutions, and society.
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