Date of Award

Summer 2008

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

de St. Aubin, Ed.

Second Advisor

Grych, John

Third Advisor

Saunders, Stephen


This study will demonstrate the nature of positive and negative psychological outcomes following SCI utilizing a multi-method, multi-construct approach. The SCI and its sequelae are conceptualized within the context of a potentially traumatic event (PTE). First, a quantitative investigation of the relationships between injury characteristics, loss of resources, and global meaning are presented. Also, the strength of these variables as predictors of posttrauma psychological outcomes is examined. The psychological outcomes were evaluated as separate constructs of PTSD, depression, and well-being, to determine unique prediction of each outcome. Second, a qualitative approach utilizing grounded theory demonstrated the meaning making themes generated by SCI survivors following the injury and its aftermath. This person-centered, open exploration of trauma appraisals provides both empirical and clinical evidence for prioritizing meaning making as central to the recovery process. This study will determine those variables that impact psychological outcomes following a potentially traumatic event. But first, understanding the recovery process following SCI is presented within the context of the new model of posttrauma adjustment. Components of this model are analyzed for this study as the first investigation of the combined influence of injury variables, resource loss, and meaning making in a SCI population. A discussion of the variables of interest, the hypotheses, results, and discussion for the current study are explained subsequently...



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