Unintended Effects of Child Apprehension on Indigenous Mothers with Intergenerational Trauma in Canada

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Cho, Judy Eun Kyeong
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A growing body of research underlines the compelling concern about continued disproportionate child apprehension of Indigenous children and transmission of intergenerational trauma. Also, there is bountiful research on the impact of child apprehension on children. However, little research has been conducted on the unintended effects of child apprehension concerning mothers, particularly Indigenous mothers with intergenerational trauma. Thus, the purpose of the literature review is to survey the recent five scholarly articles relating to the topic to reveal any gaps in research and psychotherapy to address the concern about the unintended detrimental effects of child apprehension for Indigenous mothers who are struggling with intergenerational trauma. Knowing the universal primary mother and child context for both the current child apprehension and the historical forcible child apprehension for residential schools and the Sixties Scoop, I have attempted to understand the common themes of unintended effects of children apprehension for Indigenous and non-Indigenous mothers and their association with intergenerational trauma effects through the explorative review of three qualitative and two quantitative studies. The synthesized findings indicate that the unintended consequences of child apprehension are detrimental and universal, except they were more severe for Indigenous mothers. Also, the findings demonstrate a close association between the emerged common themes and intergenerational trauma effects. The novel understanding shows the need to focus on the primary mother and child context when working with Indigenous mothers struggling with the experiences of child apprehension and intergenerational trauma to support healing and reunification and reduce or prevent transmission of intergenerational trauma. Due to the close association, I propose a single two-track project to address the disproportionate child apprehension rate and intergenerational trauma for Indigenous Peoples as one joint problem. In addition, the findings suggest the necessity for an adequate understanding of cultural appropriateness for psychotherapy to be genuinely inclusive or diversified to effectively facilitate the specific needs of the vulnerable Indigenous population.
child apprehension , intergenerational trauma
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess