Background: Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has become widely known as one of the ‘signature injuries’ of the Iraqi-Afghanistan armed conflicts. The indirect experiencing of trauma from a close family member’s PTSD is conceptualized in the literature as secondary, vicarious, or intergenerational trauma. Intergenerational trauma is a significant problem which is likely to continue given the current U.S. involvement and state of unrest in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. This problem has become more apparent as an increasing number of family members/dependents are using veteran’s administration education benefits to return to college due to military force shaping with little to no specific supportive services in place.
Purpose: To gain insight into the lived experience of college students who were family members of veterans with PTSD who served in the Iraqi-Afghanistan armed conflicts.
Methodology: A transcendental phenomenological design was used. Participants/co-researchers were selected via purposive non-probability sampling using a snowball technique. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews. The transcribed interviews were analyzed using Moustakas’ (1994) Modified Van Kaam method of phenomenological reduction.
Findings: After identifying horizons and invariant constituents (unchanging horizons, four core themes were identified; powerlessness, silence, apprehensiveness, and loss, all of which were tested through application validation. Individual textural and structural descriptions were synthesized into a composite textural-structural description of the true essence and meaning of the experience of the phenomenon that represented the group as a whole.
Recommendations: Further research, practice, and policy changes are recommended to develop supportive services for college students who are family members of veterans with PTSD.
|Commitee:||Magnussen, Lois, Shoultz, Janice, Morrison, Penny, Roberts, Stacey|
|School:||University of Hawai'i at Manoa|
|School Location:||United States -- Hawaii|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Nursing, Mental health, Clinical psychology, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||College students, Family member-dependents, Intergenerational trauma, Iraqi-Afghanistan armed conflicts, Secondary trauma, Veteran PTSD|
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