Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Melinda Moore

Second Advisor

Jerry K. Palmer


Trauma is pervasive among incarcerated populations and revictimization is common. Trauma can ripple out, affecting other areas of life—for many inmates, trauma is related to mental health issues and substance abuse, both of which can contribute to increased likelihood of recidivism. This study evaluated cumulative trauma using the Adverse Childhood Experiences survey (ACEs) and the Trauma History Questionnaire (THQ) to find the effect of cumulative trauma on posttraumatic growth, the positive psychological change that may develop following a traumatic experience. Against the hypotheses and previous research, the results showed a negative relationship between cumulative trauma and posttraumatic growth, a negative relationship between both childhood and adulthood trauma and posttraumatic growth, and no difference in amount of growth experienced within any of the five facets of posttraumatic growth during incarceration. These results, while unexpected, may be due to a number of factors, including small sample size or an extraneous variable that was not taken into account in this study.

Included in

Psychology Commons