Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The author has requested that access to this graduate work be delayed until 2019-10-09. After this date, this graduate work will be available on an open access basis.
Older Women's Trauma Experiences, Overall Health, and Protective Factors
by Leevers, Xochitl Cortina, Psy.D., Pepperdine University, 2017, 263; 10623480
Abstract (Summary)

The literature examining the relationship between traumatic exposure and health in older women to date has been limited, with little research on childhood and adulthood traumatic exposure among older women and how protective factors such as strong coping self-efficacy, resilience (personal competence and self-acceptance), and social support may better predict mental and physical health in older women. The present study sheds some light on these topics. An archival data set of 231 community-dwelling women, aged 50-98 years, was used. Participants completed several measures of childhood and lifelong trauma, mental and physical health, coping self-efficacy, resilience, and social support. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the hypothesized relationships. Results found coping self-efficacy and resilience personal competence were associated with better mental health. Resilience personal competence and self-acceptance were also associated to better physical health. Coping self-efficacy, resilience personal competence, and resilience self-acceptance were found to play an integral role in mediating the effects of childhood trauma later in life. In this study, 27.2% (N=63) of the women obtained clinically significant depressive symptoms scores on the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) and 39.8% (N =92) of the women obtained clinically significant posttraumatic stress scores on the Distressing Events Questionnaire (DEQ). It is important for mental health practitioners serving ethnically diverse older women to use trauma-informed approaches, assess for childhood and adulthood trauma experiences, and address the impacts of traumatic histories on mental and physical health. The present findings also support the inclusion of interventions that increase coping self-efficacy, resilience personal competence, and resilience self-acceptance skills in order to improve the mental and physical health of older women with histories of adverse childhood experiences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Castañeda-Sound, Carrie
Commitee: Bryant-Davis, Thema, Làgana, Luciana
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Aging, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Depression, Protective factors, Ptsd, Trauma, Women
Publication Number: 10623480
ISBN: 9780355379235
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