Qualitative exploration of trauma outcomes: six survivors in South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. A. Novello en
dc.contributor.author Fischer, Josef
dc.date.accessioned 2010-06-23T08:01:31Z
dc.date.available 2010-06-23T08:01:31Z
dc.date.issued 2010-06-23T08:01:31Z
dc.date.submitted 2002-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3325
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract There is a need to understand the outcomes of trauma in South Africa, as it is a country rife with violent crime. Thus far there has been little research into the aftermath of trauma, yet many trauma centres are coming into existence. A better understanding of the aftermaths of trauma could be integrated into current trauma intervention models so that locally researched models could be utilised by these centres. A grounded qualitative study on the outcomes of violent trauma in the South African context was thus conducted. Existentialism was included as a philosophical underpinning to the formal literature. The formal literature itself deals with the evolution of the cognitive tradition before a detailed explication of the Shattered Assumptions Model is given. This model stresses the role of trauma in disrupting central schemas regarding the manner in which both the self and the world are viewed. The impact of trauma itself in terms of the individual’s thoughts, memories and emotions was also explored. Participants in the study comprised of individuals who had been traumatised and sought counselling at the Rand Afrikaans University Trauma Centre. The participants were interviewed using the semi-structured interview format. Six such interviews took place. Selection of themes to discuss with the respondents was based both on existential theory as well as theory from the technical literature on trauma. The interviews were coded and analysed such that themes could emerge from the data itself. This is consistent with the qualitative tradition of psychological research. It was found that the South African respondents differed markedly with regards to outcomes following traumatisation. Results were discussed in terms of emotional sequelae, cognitive attributions, behavioural modifications as well as pervasive symptoms. Significantly, it was found that most respondents were still emotionally disturbed by their experiences, reporting high levels of fear and anxiety. These results are interpreted within the context of the South African environment where the incidence of violent crime and its resulting trauma is prevalent. The researcher speculates whether the recovery from trauma in South Africa is retarded due to the presence of continued threat. However, the limited external validity of the current study precludes the drawing of any universal conclusions. Further research in the field of the experience and aftermath of trauma in South Africa is recommended, with particular emphasis on the role that continued threat may play. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Psychic trauma en
dc.title Qualitative exploration of trauma outcomes: six survivors in South Africa en
dc.type Thesis en

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