Family Communication after Experiencing Traumatic Events: Building a Conceptual Model for Family Resiliency and Posttraumatic Growth By Using Family Stress and Coping Model -- CANCELLED

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: 303
Tomoko OGASAWARA , University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
When traumatic events, such as natural and human-made disasters, hit individuals, families and communities, those involved are forced to survive out of their strengths and resources that are available to them, while the literature has consistently pointed out the detrimental effects of those traumatic experiences on survivor families’ psychosocial well-being, even across generations. Among them, due to their multiple losses and sever grief reactions that individuals have experienced, difficulty in communicating about their experiences in the families appears to become a critical issue that likely impacts family members’ recovery and well-being in the long term. 

This presentation aims to: 1) investigate how survivor families communicate (or do not communicate) about their traumatic experiences caused by massive traumatic events with each other toward their optimal posttraumatic growth; and 2) create a conceptual model to understand survivor families’ resilience and posttraumatic growth by utilizing the family stress and coping model.

The presentation is built upon a systematic literature review of selected 42 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters that focused massive traumatic events including natural and human-made disasters, historical wars, or forced migration. Themes of family silence, intergenerational transmission of trauma, and resiliency and vulnerability of survivors and their offspring are examined and discussed. First, according to their research methods of: qualitative; quantitative; and case study approaches, the outcomes are categorized and analyzed. Next, the family stress and coping model is introduced and the reviewed outcomes are incorporated into the model to create a new conceptual model to understand survivor families’ resiliency and posttramatic growth. Lastly, the presentation highlights:1) what societal, cultural and educational resources are effective; 2) how families’ meaning-making processes through communication and interactions are critical; and 3) what professional and clinical approaches are necessary and/or effective, for survivor families’ posttraumatic well-being.