Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Thomas Baskin

Committee Members

Katie Mosack, Joyce Tang Boyland, Marty Sapp, Anthony Hains


Consensual Qualitative Research, Distress, Female Adolescents, Forgiveness, Resilience, Trauma


What is your life experience? Do you feel you have taken an active role in your life experiences or do you feel as though life "just happens to you"? Trauma is an event that comes into one's life, without invitation, and can alter the meaning and value of every event thereafter. Many times, exposure to trauma can leave one feeling like he or she is a passive participant in life and that his or her efforts are fruitless.

This researcher tapped into the worldview of sixteen adolescent trauma survivors by conducting qualitative interviews to gain an understanding of how their lives have been affected and shaped by trauma. Qualitative research was utilized as it provided the opportunity for rich information to emerge facilitated by open-ended discussions. The results speak to the relevance and importance of conducting research in this style. The conclusions provide an understanding of trauma through the participants' perspective. This includes a discussion of the overarching similarities that exist across interviews, while illuminating the unique differences that occur within each individual interview.