The lived experiences of trauma and posttraumatic growth of women with history of sexual abuse

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology Major in Clinical Psychology

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Ron R. Resurreccion


This study examined the lived experiences of trauma and posttraumatic growth (PTG) of female sexual abuse survivors. While there had been various researches conducted pertaining to PTG and different phenomena, a limited number of qualitative studies had explored sexual abuse and PTG. This gave rise to pursuing this research predominantly established on phenomenological principle which assumed that each sexual abuse survivor has her own reality. At the heart of this framework lies an undoubtedly asserted emphasis on the experiential claims and perception of the survivor taking part in this study. How they made sense of their experiences was given high regard, hence, was investigated utilizing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as its method. Five individual cases were examined through semi-structured individual interview. Following Osborn and Smith's (2008) recommendations and IPA procedures, these audio-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by a team of coders. Overall results revealed superordinate themes highlighting the survivors lived experiences of (1) trauma which entailed the experience of fear, of broken trust, of powerlessness, of despair and of low self-worth and (2) posttraumatic growth which included themes on their struggle with trauma, positive changes in personal qualities and positive changes in relating with others. Using Janoff-Bulman's (2004) model of posttraumatic growth, these results were further expounded in the context of participants journey of reconstructing their perception of self and of others. Moreover, theoretical and practical reflections of lived experiences embedded in contexts and across struggles were discussed.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.


Sexual abuse victims; Post-traumatic stress disorder

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