Tattooing has been a form of self-expression and cultural participation for thousands of
years. In the past in the United States, those who got tattooed were often viewed as fringe
populations. Now, however, tattoos have entered mainstream society. Most current research
shows that tattoos are tied to significant personal and cultural meanings for tattooed individuals.
Given this and the growing number of people who choose to get permanent ink, the continued
exploration of this topic can be useful for clinical psychologists in understanding clients and
emerging themes of identity in our society. Perhaps of equal importance, is the unexplored topic
of clinically active, tattooed psychologists; little research exists examining the reasons
psychologists get tattooed. The purpose of this study is three-fold: (a) to examine professional
attitudes toward psychologists’ visible tattoos, (b) to examine client reception of visible tattoos
and the psychologist’s consequent personal disclosure, and (c) the psychologist’s personal
meaning and purpose behind their choice in tattoos. A two-phased study was conducted using a general survey and a semi structured interview of psychologists with tattoos. A total of 120
psychologists and graduate students completed questionnaires in Phase I and 11 were
interviewed in Phase II. Results indicate that not only are psychologists’ tattoo trends following
those of the general public, but that tattoos are a multilayered medium to engage in clinical
dialogue. Future research is needed to expand upon these results.
|School:||George Fox University|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||DAI-B 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
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