African americans utilization of religion or therapy to cope with trauma

The purpose of this research study is to gain an understanding and gather in-depth information on African-American adults' stories and opinions as it relates to preferences and methods used to cope with trauma. This research will explore the following question: Why do African Americans utilize religion or therapy to cope with trauma? Ten African American participants over 18 years of age were selected for this study utilizing a convenient snowball sample. Participants in this study were provided a self-administered survey that was delivered through email in which they were instructed to respond within two weeks of receipt. Participants in this study were advised that in order to maintain their anonymity they would only be referred to in this study by a pseudonym. Several themes were discovered during this study that includes: 1) African Americans fears of being stereotyped with negative stigmas associated with therapy, 2) The participant's beliefs that financial burdens create an obstacle in seeking therapy 3) The participant's beliefs that prayer and meditation solely has been sufficient as a method of coping, and 4) The participant's struggle with trusting another person over their higher power. Results conclude that the influence of said themes that emerged from the survey results contribute to the decision of the majority of the participants in utilizing religious practices to cope with trauma versus utilizing therapy. Recommendations for further research include data collection from African Americans based on education level, and or socio economic status who have experienced trauma and monitoring the methods utilized for coping and its level of effectiveness.