Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Brent S. Mallinckrodt, Gina P. Owens

Committee Members

Joseph R. Miles, Jennifer A. Morrow


The study examined the moderating role of meaning made, meaning making and social support on the relationship between negative life events and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression as well as the facilitating role of these moderating variables for posttraumatic growth(PTG). Eritrean refugees (N = 135) who were residing in Europe were recruited. The results showed that post-migration living difficulties significantly related with negative outcomes. In addition, the results showed that social support moderated the relationship between the number of traumatic life events and anxiety symptoms. However, meaning made and social support were not significant moderators on the relationship between number of traumatic life events and PTSD and depression, as well as the relationship between negative outcomes and PTG. Clinical implications and the next step for future research are discussed.

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