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Title:Traveling a hard road: pathways to womanhood among generations of poor females of Haitian descent living in the Dominican Republic
Author(s):Salusky, Ida Shiela R.
Director of Research:Kral, Michael
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kral, Michael
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Larson, Reed W.; Aber, Mark S.; Raffaelli, Marcela; Simmons, David
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Early motherhood
Pathways to womanhood
resisting oppression
international community psychology
women's studies
Abstract:Messages disseminated by the international aid community, which disempower women in developing countries, advocate for delayed first pregnancy and motherhood until after the age of 20 (Barinas & Flores Chang, 2011). This advocacy contrasts starkly with the pathways to womanhood/an adult identity via marriage and motherhood among females of Haitian descent—marginalized women who live in bateyes, settings where their environmental cues (e.g. structural and direct violence) and family histories (relatively early morbidity and mortality) indicate to them that the benefits of adolescent motherhood might outweigh costs. Currently the disconnect between international advocacy and women’s lived choices in the bateyes is problematic because programs designed and funded by international organizations are less likely to support the women they are intended to help. However, little to no research exists that empirically investigates perceived best pathways to womanhood. This could help bridge the gap between international programming and resources with the needs and choices of marginalized women in the bateyes and similar developing contexts. My ethnographic research in the Dominican Republic aims to fill this gap in the literature on pathways to womanhood/an adult identity via early motherhood and serves as a first step in developing evidence–based salient programs and interventions in which marginalized young women can and will participate. Absent such research, it is nearly impossible to design and implement sustainable and salient interventions and programs for marginalized women living in bateyes and similar settings.
Issue Date:2015-06-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Ida Salusky
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201

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