Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Winston Seegobin


Trauma is an international area of research, specifically in countries that have experienced natural disasters and political unrest (Bolton, Surkan, Gray, & Desmousseaux, 2012; Derivois, Merisier, Cenat, & Castelot, 2014; Desrosiers & Fleurose, 2002; Hobfoll, 1989, 2012, 2014; Hobfoll et al., 2007; Kira, 2001, 2010; Kira et al., 2008). Haiti has endured an immense amount of trauma, including the 2010 earthquake and daily traumas resulting from poverty, economic disparity, and political unrest. This study explored the experiences of trauma, resilience, hope, and religious coping of 51 Haitian individuals through a mixed methods design. Quantitative data was gathered through the following measures: Cumulative Trauma Survey, Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Hope Scale, and Brief RCOPE. A series of Pearson’s correlations were conducted, and results found significant correlations between resilience and agency hope (r = .297, p < 0.05) and total hope (r = .326, p < 0.05). Significant correlations were also indicated between cumulative trauma and pathway hope (r = .364, p < 0.01). Additionally, pathway hope was significantly correlated with agency hope (r = .519, p < 0.01) and total hope (r = .849, p < 0.01). A significant correlation was seen between agency hope and total hope ( r = .893, p < 0.01). Qualitative data were collected from 20 participants in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of these variables. Themes were extracted into the following clusters: negative symptomatology, positive symptomatology, mental health symptomatology, coping mechanisms, resilience, religion/spirituality, national/community identity, progression, SES, lack of resources, and types of trauma. Participants reported their exposure to specific traumatic experiences, including the 2010 earthquake. Findings suggest that participants have experienced complex, cumulative trauma, including Type III and Type IV trauma, as defined by Kira et al. (2008). Participants displayed high levels of resilience and hope, the concept of survival being a prominent theme. Findings related to religious coping suggest an experience of religious shame, perhaps due to the negative perception of Haitian vodou. This study contributes to the limited research in Haiti by examining the trauma the country has experienced, as well as the role that resilience, hope, and religious coping play in the Haitian experience.