Posttraumatic Growth and Religiosity in Latino College Students Who Have Experienced Psychological Trauma
The University of Maryland McNair Scholars Undergraduate Research Journal, 1, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 166-186
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In the field of psychology, research on the aftermath of trauma has historically focused on the negative consequences. More recently, empirical evidence suggests that individuals often derive benefits or personal growth as a result of these extraordinary events, thus the term posttraumatic growth. The purpose of this future study is to assess the relationship between religiosity and posttraumatic growth in Latino/a college students at a large, predominately White institution using previously validated constructs. Traumatic events are universally experienced, therefore, growth is expected in all populations. Furthermore, research suggests that minorities may face additional stressors, called minority status stressors, which include discrimination and alienation. In addition, college Latino populations remain relatively understudied with respect to posttraumatic growth. Empirical data on posttraumatic growth and deriving benefits from difficult circumstances propose there are several factors that may enhance this experience. Among these factors are optimism, event-related rumination, gender of the individual, time elapsed since the traumatic experience, and religiosity (Calhoun, Cann, Tedeschi, & McMillan, 2000; Park, Cohen, & Murch, 1996; Updegraff & Marshall, 2005; Weiss, 2004). The instruments used for data collection will consist of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, Daily Spiritual Experience Scale, Impact of Event Scale-Revised, and a demographic questionnaire (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1995; Underwood & Teresi; 2002; Weiss & Marmar, 1997). The measures, hosted on the Internet by Survey Monkey ©, will be distributed via e-mail to Latino/a students currently enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park. Data analysis will consist of correlational analysis via multiple regressions, and ANOVA’s to analyze the relationship between all variables. The computer program SPSS will be used to perform data analysis. The results expected based on previous findings in the literature include: (a) elevated levels of posttraumatic growth, (b) a relationship between the severity of the event and religiosity, (c) gender differences in posttraumatic growth, (d) greater religiosity and growth among recent migrant students, and (e) a positive correlation between religiosity and posttraumatic growth.