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ERIC Number: ED514007
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 247
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-7068-7
Pursuing College Education in the Context of Gender-Based Violence and Psychiatric Histories: Women's Lived Experiences of Resilience and Recovery
Mongillo, Elizabeth A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston
There has been a growing movement toward expanding biomedical psychiatric models focused on individual psychopathology using contextually-sensitive, socio-politically informed, ecological approaches, and resilience and recovery perspectives emphasizing individuals' rights to access the necessary resources to resume life pursuits (e.g. education) interrupted by psychiatric distress and trauma. The goal of this mixed methods study was to better understand the life stressors experienced by women pursuing their college educations in the context of gender-based violence (GBV) and psychiatric histories characterized by psychiatric hospitalization (PHSP), and the resources they feel they need to promote their wellness and educational success. A total of 664 female undergraduates recruited from an urban, largely ethnic minority, immigrant, and working class undergraduate commuter university completed measures of perceived life stress, self-reported distress, and an ecologically-based measure of resilience. Quantitative results indicated that women who had experiences of both GBV and PHSP reported significantly higher levels of perceived stress on the Realistic Life Stress Scale (RLS), higher levels of self-reported distress on the Hopkins-21, and lower perceived levels of available coping resources on the Resiliency Scale for Adults (RSA) than women who had neither of these experiences. Sixteen of the ninety-seven women in the sample who had experienced both GBV and PHSP additionally participated in narrative interviews, which were coded for themes, analyzed from feminist ecological and life course perspectives, and located within their ecological context through situational analysis, (e.g. mapping oppressive conditions in the women's lives and resources for empowerment and recovery). The situational map resulting from qualitative analyses illustrated the circumstances under which eight ecological domains in the women's lives (Campus Resources, Community Resources, Family & Friends, Health & Mental Health Systems of Care, Legal/Political Systems, Voluntary or Paid Employment including Military, Beliefs, Perceptions & Worldviews, and Mediums of Reflection and Expression) were experienced as having a damaging/negative influence versus a positive/supportive influence on their pursuit of their educational and recovery goals. Themes from the interviews were also used to develop an Action Plan outlining key recommendations the women felt would maximize the extent to which the university could support them in achieving their goals. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A