School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Jason Ward


Trauma, Intergenerational Trauma, Collective Trauma, Ethnic minorities, Mindset, Growth Mindset, Fixed Mindset


Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Intergenerational trauma is a phenomenon commonly experienced by ethnic minorities in the United States. This type of trauma can profoundly affect individuals, families, and communities. Despite the prevalence and importance of intergenerational trauma, little research has investigated the link between intergenerational trauma and individuals’ mindsets. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to understand the perceptions, experiences, and beliefs of ethnic minorities with intergenerational trauma regarding fixed and growth mindsets. The theory guiding this study was Carol Dweck’s mindset theory. To assess the influence of intergenerational trauma on ethnic minorities’ mindsets, 12 individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds were purposefully recruited through social media. Participants were asked to participate in semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions surrounding their perceptions of intergenerational trauma and fixed and growth mindsets. Specifically, participants’ perceptions regarding their fixed and growth mindsets were explored. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings of the study have important implications for informing mental health professionals regarding the experiences of ethnic minorities regarding intergenerational trauma and fixed and growth mindsets. Such information may be useful in designing appropriate interventions for different minority populations.