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*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.

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Friday, March 6 • 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Promoting Transcendence: An Ecological-Womanist Approach to Understanding Religiosity as a Protective Factor Against Adverse Mental Health Outcomes Among Ethnically Diverse Survivors of Sexual Victimization

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Prevalence rates of sexual victimization fall between one-sixth to nearly one-quarter of women in the United States (Elliot, Mok, & Briere, 2004). Literature suggests that survivors of sexual victimization are subject to adverse mental health outcomes such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) (Bryant-Davis, Chung, & Tillman, 2009; Gladstone et al., 2004). There has been paucity within the literature related to understanding, holistically, the coping behaviors endorsed by diverse populations to achieve restoration. Observing coping behavior from a culturally based, ecological perspective helps conceptualize methods used by ethnically diverse women, allowing for the values expressed within specific ethnocultural groups to be examined (Wang & Heppner, 2011, Fontes, 1993). Womanist theory considers how spirituality can be used to foster reexamination, growth and wholeness (Walker, 1983). This study utilizes an ecological, womanist framework to examine the use of spirituality to promote thriving. Studies have demonstrated an interconnected relationship between religiousness and negative life events whereby religious belief can enhance an individual’s ability to cope with negative life events and negative life events can concurrently lead to enhanced religious faith (Pargament, 1990; Mcintosh, 1995). Furthermore, spiritual and religious beliefs have been shown to be particularly impactful for various ethnic groups, namely African Americans, impacting their understanding of several values including justice, salvation, and coping from oppression (Mattis, 2000). Recent studies have expanded the understanding of the use of religious coping amongst culturally diverse trauma survivors (Bryant-Davis, Ullman, Tsong & Gobin, 2011; Ahrens, Abeling, Ahmad, and Hinman (2010). Feminist clinicians and researchers can utilize an ecologically based, womanist frame to establish integrative treatment programs, which consider spiritual values in order to attend to the needs of diverse communities and promote restoration. Integration of spiritual norms within the treatment framework can enhance cultural congruence and function as a pathway toward transcendence.

Friday March 6, 2015 3:45pm - 4:45pm