Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication Studies

First Advisor

Erin K. Willer, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Suter

Third Advisor

Mary Claire Morr-Serewicz

Fourth Advisor

Debora Ortega


Chicana feminism, Child sexual abuse, Indigenous methodology, Latinas, Latinx, Testimonio


Despite countless studies demonstrating a high prevalence of child sexual abuse (CSA) and low rates of disclosure in the Latinx community, research exploring Latinx CSA disclosure is scant in family communication studies. This study explores how Latinas choose to disclose and/or conceal their experience(s) of CSA as well as explores the Latinx cultural constructs that impact disclosure. Using the Indigenous methodology of testimonio, grounded theory, and communication privacy management theory as a sensitizing theory, the study examined six Latinas' testimonios collected in one-on-one interviews. In an effort to stay true to testimonio, the overarching themes are presented through individual narrative portraits that provide a space to introduce each participant and their narratives. Within the narrative portraits, analysis of each Latina's testimonio occurs by operating on Chicana Feminism and Mujerista Theology. These women of color theories provide an intricate context that grant insight into the matrix of domination and underlying power structures within Latinx culture that impact Latina CSA disclosure. Latinas' testimonios demonstrate the centering of the family when choosing to reveal and/or conceal their instances of CSA. Specifically, the study's results indicate that certain patriarchal principles encourage Latinas to uphold docility and purity. Further, they encourage Latinas to perform within a very strict gender role, where the protection of the family is important. This study also demonstrates that CSA is normalized and an experience that is inherited from grandmothers to mothers to daughters.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Nivea Castaneda


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

246 p.


Latin American Studies, Health Education, Communication