A Qualitative Exploration of Transgenerational Trauma and Cultural Identity of Armenian Genocide Descendants

Kristen Jenna Lipari, Fordham University


This dissertation study explored the cultural identity experiences of Armenian Genocide descendants. The goal of the present qualitative investigation was to help researchers and clinicians better understand whether and how the Armenian Genocide affected descendants. Participants were comprised of 14 male and female individuals (ages 25 to 84) from seven families who identify as at least half Armenian American and descendants of the Armenian Genocide. To gauge for transmission of transgenerational trauma, the researcher interviewed two generations of people within the same family; e.g. a father and his son, and a father and his daughter. Each participant completed a demographic questionnaire and an in-depth, semi-structured interview using a combined postpositivist-constructivist paradigm to explore the cultural identity experience of Armenian Genocide descendants. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using a grounded theory methodology, which employed a process of open, axial, and selective coding. Results revealed an emergent theory of modern Armenian American cultural identity that indicated cultural identity is driven by an urge to fulfill the pillars of Armenian culture that were lost in the Armenian Genocide. Clinical implications and areas of future research related to cultural identity and historic oppression are discussed. Keywords: transgenerational trauma, intergenerational trauma, cultural identity, Armenian Genocide, Armenian American

Subject Area

Cultural anthropology|Counseling Psychology|Individual & family studies

Recommended Citation

Lipari, Kristen Jenna, "A Qualitative Exploration of Transgenerational Trauma and Cultural Identity of Armenian Genocide Descendants" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10286096.