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The Effects of Trauma and its Effect on Staff Engagement

0 hours, 58 minutes
1.0 BACB
September 27, 2023


Dr. Nasiah Crincione-Ulezi, EdD, BCBA-D, LBA and Dr. danyelle beal, PsyD, BCBA


This study explored the effects of trauma and resiliency among 10 Black women across the United States. Participants’ ages ranged from 27 to 82, and all had experience living in foster homes in their childhood. The goals of this research were to: (a) explore participants’ experiences with childhood trauma; (b) identify particular resilience factors as described by each participant; and (c) offer insight for identifying particular factors for resilience and coping strategies among Black American women.

A transcendental phenomenological research design was used. This type of study allowed for a phenomenon to be researched through the participants’ lived experiences, those data were then examined and interpreted through the lens of resilience theory (Garmezy, 1991). 

The findings suggest that participants were able to survive their childhood experiences because they had access to community resources, such as community pools, public libraries and people who invested in them. In an effort to move past their childhood trauma, these participants accessed higher education and, in those systems, endured more injury. Black women must be protected in these environments. Studies show that Black women often carry the responsibility of protecting themselves (Masten, 2014) . Further exploration demonstrates that when Black women who have suffered trauma operate in environments that don’t share that responsibility, there is a potential for further harm. The misnomer “strong Black woman”, or the superwoman archetype  (Woods-Giscombé, 2010), can prove to be harmful for her healing journey. The goal of this research is to teach practitioners to use culturally responsive tools to support Black women supervisees and the families they serve.

Learning Checklist

  1. Define trauma and understand the potential effects of that trauma for the behavior analytic consumer. 

  2. List and define the ABCDE Model of resilience (Wong & Wong) and applications to applied behavior analytic services. 

  3. Identify 5 behaviors commonly tacted incorrectly and evaluate possible functions of these behaviors via evaluation of reinforcement histories layered by consumer trauma. 

  4. Describe how the BACB ethics code requires ongoing cultural responsiveness training in supervision and how this responsive supervision is imperative to the development of Black clinicians and ultimate service delivery and ABA service access within the Black community.


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