School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Tracy Baker


trauma, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), Yoruba, Nigerians




This transcendental phenomenological study examined the lived adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) of the Yoruba tribe of Nigerians living in America. The study setting was virtual through Microsoft Teams sampling members of a local church in central Maryland with a population of about 95% of Nigerians from the Yoruba tribe. The trauma from ACEs and cultural factors that may have contributed to the participants’ negative adulthood aggressive behavior was explored in this study. Behavioral constructivism and social constructivism theories guided this study and provided insight into the factors contributing to the experiences of Nigerians from the Yoruba tribe with childhood trauma. In the Yoruba tribe, childhood experiences are heavily influenced by social and cultural factors; therefore, social constructivism, which emphasizes the importance of social and cultural factors in shaping individuals’ experiences and perceptions of the world, provides a valuable lens for examining childhood experiences of Nigerians in the Yoruba tribe. Additionally, behaviorism suggests that the experience of physical abuse in the Yoruba tribe can influence an individual’s future behavior. Data collection for this study included surveys, interviews, and journaling of 10 participants. Data analysis in this study was conducted following the analysis approach proposed by Moustakas using NVivo12. The thematic findings revealed that members of the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria place great importance on disciplining young children without regard to harshness or the idea of abuse which results in ACEs. This study provided valuable insights into the experiences of Yoruba individuals with childhood trauma and underscored the need for further research and intervention to support their mental health and well-being.

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