Restoring and Empowering Traumatized Girls in a Philippines-Based Independent Living Program: An Exploratory Study

Abstract

Researchers have examined knowledge and skillsets that enhance successful transitions into independent living for at-risk youth residing in independent living programs; however, few studies examine programs outside of the United States. Employing focus groups and participant-observation, this exploratory study examined areas of personal development, knowledge, and skills that former graduates, staff, and administrators of a Philippines-based independent living program believed essential for the success of young women with traumatic histories. Thematic analysis revealed three themes: (1) Psycho-Emotional-Spiritual Well-Being, (2) Cultivating a Fighting Spirit, and (3) Financial Stability. Distinct from much of the literature, spiritual development, a mechanism of Psycho-Emotional-Spiritual Wellbeing, and Cultivating a Fighting Spirit, a form of empowerment, emerged as important areas of development. The focal program emphasized personal development and restoration for the survival and success of young Filipina women in their agency.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The focal agency wanted to use the real name in the manuscript; thus, it has not been changed. However, all of the participant names used are pseudonyms.

  2. 2.

    Religion “refers to scripture, ritual, myths, beliefs, practices, moral codes, communities, social institutions…the outward and objectified elements of a tradition” (Roof 2003, p. 138).

  3. 3.

    Spirituality refers to “the presence of a relationship with a higher power that affects the way in which one operates in the world” (Armstrong 1995, pg. 3).

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the Sisters, staff, and young women who participated in the study for their honesty and courage. This study was supported by a research fellowship from the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee to Laura A. Voith, Principal Investigator.

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Correspondence to Laura A. Voith.

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Authors Laura Voith and Joan Blakey, declare no conflicts of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Voith, L.A., Blakey, J.M. Restoring and Empowering Traumatized Girls in a Philippines-Based Independent Living Program: An Exploratory Study. Journ Child Adol Trauma 11, 257–268 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-016-0116-x

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Keywords

  • Trauma
  • Girls
  • Violence
  • Treatment
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Cross-cultural