Department of Family Therapy Dissertations and Applied Clinical Projects

Date of Award


Document Type

Applied Clinical Project (ACP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy


Tommie V. Boyd

Committee Member

Ronald J. Chenail


There is an abundance of research on Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA), however there is a disproportionate number of studies that focus on Hispanic CSA (Kenny & McEachern, 2007). In light of the few studies also focusing on the multigenerational transmission and the reoccurrence of sexual abuse (Lev-Wiesel, 2006), it is important to delve further into the mother’s role, experience, and Hispanic culture may have on conversations surrounding sexuality in these families. Guilamo-Ramos, Dittus, Jaccard, Goldberg, Casillas, and Bouris (2006) found that the Latino culture plays a large role in mother- adolescent conversations about sex, finding that mothers were raised in a culture not supportive with open discussion about sex in the home. In addition to navigating these multicultural and multigenerational challenges, many Hispanic parents and families are left to cope and manage with minimal support from their community.

The purpose of this study was to explore the multigenerational transmission patterns of CSA in these Hispanic families. This study utilized a Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) Lens to explore and learn how conversations relating to sexuality are passed down from generation to generation in these particular families. The development and implementation of “The Talk” Parent Workshop for Hispanic families was co- created, developed, and implemented using an Action Research approach. The use of BFST lens was used to inform the development of the workshop and Bloom’s Taxonomy was used to guide its implementation. This study privileged the voices of this vulnerable and marginalized population.

I conducted semi-structured interviews with five stakeholders, Hispanic/Latino women who identified multigenerational CSA in their families. Through these interviews, concepts, themes, and subthemes emerged through the data collected and analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. The concepts were identified using a Bowen Lens, those concepts were: Chronic Anxiety, Differentiation of Self, Multigenerational Transmission Process, Nuclear Family Emotional Process, and Emotional Cutoff. These concepts were then utilized to inform the Parent Workshop. The themes discovered in the initial stage of this study were implemented in the workshop. The benefits of the workshop were illustrated in the Pre- and Post-Evaluations which highlighted the stakeholders’ increased thoughtfulness and understanding. The need for a Parent Workshop is evident by the clear suggestions made by the stakeholders who participated via the Post Workshop Satisfaction Survey.

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