Session: Employing a Trauma-Informed, Socially Just Research Framework with Marginalized Populations: Practices and Barriers to Implementation (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

337 Employing a Trauma-Informed, Socially Just Research Framework with Marginalized Populations: Practices and Barriers to Implementation

Sunday, January 19, 2020: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Marquis BR Salon 8, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Race and Ethnicity (R&E)
Hyunjune Lee, MSW, Case Western Reserve University, Laura Voith, PhD, Case Western Reserve University, Tyrone Hamler, MSW, Case Western Reserve University, Meredith Francis, PhD, Case Western Reserve University and Amy Korsch-Williams, MSSA, Case Western Reserve University
Given the focus on marginalized populations in social work, the social justice orientation of the field, and the intersection of trauma with marginalized populations, a framework to guide researchers in conducting trauma-informed, socially just research with marginalized populations is warranted. Notably, a framework for prioritizing intersectionality in research exists; however, a significant gap remains between the robust body of research on trauma prevalence and related best research practices. The guiding principles for working with trauma-exposed populations are most commonly followed in clinical settings, rather than research settings. Furthermore, labeling individuals or groups as “traumatized” has been rebuked by some as pathologizing. Given key differences between clinical and research practice, further attention to how to integrate this knowledge into research without further pathologizing populations is needed.

The panelists will discuss a research framework that is grounded in the four tenets of trauma-informed care, including realizing the widespread impact of trauma and understand potential paths for recovery; recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma in all of those involved in the research study (participants, researchers); responding by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and seeking to actively resist retraumatization by making study participants' voices central to the study. Enacting these principles, a case example of a study with socioeconomically disadvantaged, predominantly urban Black men, who had high exposures to adversity (M = 8.45, SD = 5.03 out of a total of 21 potentially traumatic events) and reported high rates of trauma symptoms (i.e., 30% of the study sample met the clinical threshold for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and over 60% met the clinical threshold for at least one domain of complex PTSD) will be presented.

Three panelists will describe the overall framework and application to each phase of research (e.g., study design, recruitment, data collection). Two panelists will discuss the obstacles to implementation including individual differences between the research team and study sample (i.e., race, gender, nationality) and the study setting (i.e., probation office). The panel presents itself as one example of this application, and will invite the audience to enrich the framework with their own experiences and questions. That is, audience will be engaged to consider how these principles could be implemented in their own work, cautions and imperatives to doing so, and the ethical responsibility of social work researchers. As a result, the roundtable will be able to provide a space for researchers to share their understanding and experiences of integrating knowledge on trauma-informed, socially just framework into research and discuss ways to overcome the barriers to implementation.

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