Author

Blake Rover

Date of Award

2023

First Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer

Second Advisor

Amy Smith

Abstract

Multi-generational poverty is the consequence of a familiar pattern of behavioral characteristics and the circumstances that give rise to them. These circumstances impact every aspect of the lives of those who live in areas defined by multi-generational poverty, and these impacts, science indicates, may continue for generations (Hedman, Manley, van Ham, & Östh, 2013). When multi-generational poverty is examined as an ecosystem which forces adaptation or resistance for an individual’s practical and psychological survival, it is possible to look at the phenomenon of PTSD and resilience through the lens of evolutionary psychology and translational neuroscience (Wodtke, Elwert, & Harding, 2016). As the brain adapts to behaviors that support basic needs within an environment that may require constant vigilance, offer low rewards, and requires the processing of fear and anxiety to be subdued consistently, the brain may adapt to an altered reality that processes new stimuli in a radically altered fashion.

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