FATE survey tracks with present data, pinpoints informed needs and solutions

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 05/29/2023, 7:06 PM
Edited: 05/29/2023, 7:13 PM

(NATIONAL) As VNN’s second annual “From Adversity To Entrepreneurship” Learning Series draws to a close, information received from online participants is now available to advance this year’s focus on “Trauma Informed Business Development”. 

Over the last three months, VNN surveyed people nationwide about their trauma experiences, the hardships of balancing trauma with entrepreneurship, and what they view as possible solutions. 

Nationwide, VNN found most people who said they experienced childhood trauma (98 percent) also experienced adulthood trauma. People also said they experienced more traumatic events in childhood than adulthood (an average of 2.3 incidents per childhood versus 1.7 incidents per adulthood). 

26 percent of survey participants were from Oklahoma, the location of this year’s FATE series in-person event. 

Related Story: FATE is success- and women want more 

Oklahomans surveyed also said they experienced more trauma in childhood than adulthood, though all experienced both childhood and adulthood trauma and at higher rates than nationwide responses (2.66 incidents per childhood and 2.33 incidents per adulthood). 

This information was consistent with findings recently reported in The Oklahoman, which stated the average Adverse Childhood Experience score in the United States is about 1.5, with an Oklahoma average double that.

In Oklahoma, the most prevalent childhood trauma listed was bullying, followed by extreme poverty, natural disaster, and physical assault by a non-family member (in that order). Oklahomans listed physical assault by a non-family member and accident as the top adulthood trauma, followed by bullying and natural disaster. 

Relating specific to entrepreneurship, 42 percent of Oklahomans surveyed said change in mood was the most prevalent way trauma impacted their entrepreneurship or small business ownership journey. Mayo Clinic reports people with mood disorders experience distorted emotions and moods that are inconsistent with their current circumstances and which may impact one’s ability to function.   

The other top listed trauma impacts Oklahoma entrepreneurs and small business owners experience was avoidance of social interaction and fear of being in public, followed by difficulty working with others, poor physical health, and incarceration related issues. 

Related Story: VNN partners with WREP to develop “Trauma Informed Business Development Toolkit” 

The most prevalent form of treatment received for trauma nationwide was general counseling (35 to 37 percent). For Oklahomans, the most prevalent form of trauma treatment was split between general counseling and therapy groups (41 to 50 percent).   

According to licensed trauma counselor Alexie Foster, not all therapists are certified in trauma, and it’s not always enough to be trauma trained or trauma informed. Foster says a certified trauma therapist will have extensive training in working with clients on trauma issues.

8 percent of Oklahomans said they have not received any treatment at all for their adulthood trauma. 25 percent said they have not received any treatment at all for their childhood trauma. 

When asked what trauma resources respondents thought they could benefit from the most, many said support groups and talking with others who share similar experiences. 

To learn more about VNN’s FATE series, click here


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