Dr. Janette Taylor
Participation year
Project title

Music Sets Me Free: A Music Intervention with Incarcerated African American Women


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health concern that affects over 4.8 million women annually. African American women experience IPV at a disproportionately higher rate than their white female counterparts. Survivors of IPV experience adverse psychological and physical health consequences, such as, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, headaches and hypertension. Additionally, a women’s experience of abuse is a risk factor for incarceration. The purpose of this study was to describe how a music intervention facilitated the healing experience and recovery process with incarcerated abused women. A gender-sensitive multi-modal intervention, Music and Account-Making for Behavioral-Related Adaptation (MAMBRA), incorporated music with the traditional intervention of psycho-education and group discussion. The study reports the perception of seven African American women survivors of IPV, including associated narratives that illustrate the significance of music in group sessions. Narrative data was managed using HyperRESEARCH. Qualitative description (QD), a method of naturalistic inquiry, was used to understand the experience of recovery and healing facilitated through music. Three themes related to the benefit of a music intervention were identified: Fostering Awareness and Introspection, Connecting to a Healthier Life, and Choosing a Better Pathway. We anticipate that the findings will support the inclusion of gender-sensitive music combined with psycho-education and group discussion as effective strategies for healing by African American incarcerated IPV survivors.

Cherelle  Johnson
Central State Univ