238989 Traumatic stress, social support, cognitive appraisal, and resiliency among Black women experiencing gun violence loss

Monday, October 31, 2011: 4:47 PM

Annette Bailey, PhD , School of Nursing, York University, Toronto, Canada
Manoj Sharma, PhD , Health Promotion & Education, University of Cincinnati & Walden University, Cincinnati, OH
Death by gun violence has reached disproportionately high levels among Black youth ages 14-19 years within the United States and Canada. Much attention has been granted to the perpetrators and victims of these crimes, less attention has been given to the ways in which these experiences impact on the psychological wellbeing of the victims' family, in particular, Black mothers. The study is guided by the stress framework developed by Pearlin, which provides an understanding of how stress exposure influences wellbeing. Using a cross-sectional design, this study examined the association between traumatic stress and resilience and the mediating effects of social support, cognitive appraisal, and quality health care among 48 Black mothers living in a metropolitan area in Canada who lost children through gun violence. Pearson correlation and multiple regression revealed a significant negative correlation between traumatic stress and mothers' resilience (rho = .049). The findings suggest that social support and cognitive appraisal mediate this relationship. Traumatic stress experience by mothers decreased with increased social support (beta = -.291, rho = .045), leading to an increase in mothers' resilience (beta = .297, rho = .032). With positive appraisal, mothers' stress level decreased (&beta = -.334, rho = .023), leading to increased resilience (beta = .441, rho = .003). Positive social change strategies should focus on the complex personal and social needs of this population in order to strengthen their coping resources, improve their abilities to find meaning in their loss, and build their resilience

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
• Describe the factors that influence Black women’ experience with homicide loss. • Analyze the nature of the relationships between factors that affect Black women’ level of traumatic stress and resilience following the loss of a child through gun violence. • Define features of a health plan for Black women and their families affected by homicide loss.

Keywords: Violence, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This topic was done as a dissertation with Walden University. The manuscript is being prepared for publication
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.