Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Research concerning resilience following trauma and adversity indicates that resilient adaptation occurs more often than originally hypothesized. Correlational studies have identified resilience factors including social support, self-efficacy, self-esteem, spirituality, and optimism. However, these studies have evidenced mixed findings regarding the relationships between resilience factors and adjustment outcomes including adjustment to trauma, psychological adjustment, and posttraumatic growth. In the present study, definitions and concepts in resilience research were clarified, and findings from the past five decades of lifespan resilience research were reviewed. A meta-analysis designed to summarize the existing research and uncover the true nature of the relationships among resilience factors and positive adaptation outcomes among adult trauma survivors was conducted. Findings revealed positive and significant meta-analytic correlations between resilience factors and adjustment outcomes, with the exception of a negative and significant relationship between spirituality and trauma adjustment. All mean effect sizes, with the exception of the relationship between optimism and trauma adjustment, were moderated by demographic, methodological, setting, trauma type, and time since trauma variables. Discussion of these findings focused on embedding the results within current theoretical perspectives, identifying clinical and counseling implications, addressing limitations, and clarifying directions for future research.

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Creative Commons License
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