Itti'at akka' wáyya'ahookya ikkobaffo (Trees bend, but don’t break): Chickasaw family stories of historical trauma and resilience across the generations

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dc.contributor.author Aducci, Christopher John
dc.date.accessioned 2013-04-22T16:24:34Z
dc.date.available 2013-04-22T16:24:34Z
dc.date.issued 2013-04-22
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/15546
dc.description.abstract The Chickasaw represent one non-reservation bound American Indian tribe whose experiences of family life, historical trauma and resilience has not been fully understood. Therefore, this study sought to identify the qualities common to Chickasaw families, Chickasaw families' experiences of historical trauma and the factors that contribute to Chickasaw families' ability to persevere under adversarial circumstances. Using in-depth phenomenological interviews with nine (N = 9) three-generation minimum Chickasaw families, four central themes emerged that answered the four research questions. The first theme, "Chokka-chaffa' Nanna Mó̲́đma Ímmayya/The Family Is Everything" indicated that Chickasaw families were a heterogeneously complex system with a natural orientation toward the family unit itself, whereby the families valued emotional closeness, warmth and affection, quality time together, praise, respect and openness. Families were involved with one another and were active participants in strengthening their own families and communities. Families were prideful of family members' accomplishments and valued extended kin and spirituality. Further, families were confronted with challenges, but showed an ability to "bend, but not break," often citing the very same qualities, such as involvement, pride and an orientation toward family, as contributing to their ability to solve problems and keep the family unit intact. The second theme, "Impalahá̲mmi Bíyyi'ka/They Have It Really Bad," indicated the families experienced historical trauma by mourning the loss of land, language, culture and identity and that losses went unacknowledged by their non-Native counterparts and were ongoing, thus expecting to affect younger and future generations. The third theme, "Chikashsha Poyacha Ilaa-áyya'shakatí̲'ma/We Are Chickasaw, and We Are Still Here" indicated that despite hardships, families saw resilience as a trait found within their Chickasaw heritage. Maintaining a positive outlook, a spirit of determination, a fierce loyalty toward family members and a close connection to the Chickasaw Nation further contributed to families' resilience. The fourth theme, "Hooittapila/They Help One Another" indicated that resilient qualities were passed in a multidirectional pattern throughout all generations of family members, whereby family members from all generations supported and uplifted one another. Also discussed are the study's strengths and limitations and the clinical and research implications for Chickasaw families. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Chickasaw en_US
dc.subject American Indian en_US
dc.subject Historical trauma en_US
dc.subject Resilience en_US
dc.subject Couple and family therapy en_US
dc.subject Phenomenology en_US
dc.title Itti'at akka' wáyya'ahookya ikkobaffo (Trees bend, but don’t break): Chickasaw family stories of historical trauma and resilience across the generations en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Department of Family Studies and Human Services en_US
dc.description.advisor Joyce A. Baptist en_US
dc.subject.umi Individual & Family Studies (0628) en_US
dc.date.published 2013 en_US
dc.date.graduationmonth May en_US


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