Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Michele Kielty

Cara Meixner

Amanda Evans


Intergenerational trauma involves a traumatic event that began years prior to the current generation and has impacted the ways in which individuals cope with and heal from trauma. Intergenerational trauma can negatively impact families and individuals as a result of unresolved emotions and thoughts about a traumatic event. Motherhood has always been an important role for Black women (Green, 1990) and although all women face challenges in their role as mothers, Black women are faced with unique tasks that their White counterparts are not. Black women are often the transmitter of culture to their children and frequently set the example of what it means to be a Black adult (Collins, 1987; Greene, 1990). For daughters, mothers are often seen as role models as girls identify with their mothers and learn to embrace their femaleness often through emulating their mothers (Collins, 1987). Racism and sexism imprint a legacy on Black women, which affects their children’s lives (Greene, 1990b). In fulfillment of dissertation research and to continue enhancing the current research on Black motherhood, this study aimed to investigate the lived experiences of six Black mothers and the intergenerational messages that are sent from Black mothers to Black daughters. Through an ethnographic study, six themes emerged from data collected via three semi-structured focus group interviews. Implications of these findings for the counseling field and counselor educators, including the need for dedicated space for Black mothers to process their experiences, are discussed.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.