• Coping with Death and Grief: Mount Zion Baptist Church Widows' Stories

      Bright, Eddie Lee; McAfee School of Theology
      ABSTRACT EDDIE LEE BRIGHT COPING WITH DEATH AND GRIEF: MOUNT ZION BAPTIST CHURCH WIDOWS’ STORIES Under the direction of DENISE M. MASSEY, PH.D. Three widows were selected from Mount Zion Baptist Church to participate in my thesis project on Death and Grief. Their stories are individually told respectively as shared by them during the interview sessions. Although a semi-structured format was used and open-ended questions were asked, their stories are conveyed in this writing through a narrative as opposed to a verbatim style. Three widows were chosen and deemed sufficient to satisfy this project and to attain the data necessary to organize the Death and Grief Ministry. Two distinctive criteria existed among the chosen participants: (1) Widows had to have been married more than half their years of age when their husbands died. This criterion enabled the project to specifically examine the effect a loss of a husband has on a widow in a relationship that lasted more than half of the existence of her life. (2) Widows must have had the same husband the entire length of their marriage, without separation and/or divorce, regardless of whether the remarriage was to the former husband. This project empowers widows to share their stories, including their thoughts and feelings concerning how their spouses’ death has affected them. Because the narration comes directly from the widows, the uniqueness of each woman’s plight has been demonstrated. These widows’ stories will also be used to educate the congregation and community on how to cope with death and grief based on their shared experiences and stories. The long-term intention of this project is to institute a Death and Grief Ministry at Mt. Zion.
    • The Impact of Trauma Narrative Treatment on Mandated Substance Abuse Groups

      Hicks, Aimee Suzanne; College of Professional Advancement
      This paper discusses the comorbid condition of substance use disorders and trauma. Mandated DUI offenders are ordered by the courts to attend state treatment centers. Most mandated treatment centers do not have mental health professionals who are qualified to diagnose the severity of substance use disorders or comorbid conditions. The literature shows that many individuals suffer from co-occurring conditions of substance use disorder and trauma. The purpose of this study was to determine if introducing Trauma Narrative Treatment into mandated substance abuse groups would show a reduction in substance abuse symptoms and trauma symptoms. The sample consisted of 184 participants recruited using simple random sampling from state mandated substance use centers within the metropolitan Atlanta region covering multiple jurisdictions and was equally divided between the treatment group for those who agreed to participate in the intervention and the control group for those who did not. Participants were administered a Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) and Trauma Symptom Checklist (TSC-40) before and six-months after the treatment. MANOVA and post-hoc ANOVAs were conducted to assess the potential effect of treatment on substance use and trauma symptoms. The results revealed a significant improvement in trauma symptoms after TNT was introduced over the course of the session. Also, there was a significant improvement in substance use symptoms after the session regardless of whether TNT was administered. Based on the results of this study, TNT should be integrated with an efficient version of substance use curriculum to address both trauma symptoms and substance abuse symptoms in mandated substance use groups.