Resurrection ferns: resiliency, art and meaning constructs among survivors of trauma or difficult life events.

  • Author / Creator
    Aylyn, Ayalah
  • The phenomenon of resilient recovery from traumatic events has been postulated from a multitude of several different theoretical orientations. The current thesis study contributes to what Glen Richardson (2002) described as the linkage between the theoretical traditions of positive psychology and the 3rd wave of resiliency research. More specifically, this study supports the linkage between resiliency and the spiritual/interpersonal experience of human beings, through the multi-modalities of both narrative and art. One of the most intriguing aspect of this thesis study is that 63 per cent of the 27 respondents (who had experienced either traumatic or difficult life events), attributed their resiliency to their belief systems of immortality. Furthermore, such issues of immortality appeared to be connected in some way with what participants in this study described as “spirituality.” Of the remaining 10 participants, three believed that the human spirit returned to God and did not recycle and the remaining 7 participants attributed their resiliency to other aspects such as personal strength, closeness to nature, social action, creativity, camaraderie with others and so on. Finally, in the narrative tradition, this author kept personal thesis journal notes to herself as she encountered the various participants in this study. A selection of such thesis notes are interspersed in between participants' self-defined resilient stories. Such interwoven narratives form what narrative researcher Laurel Richardson (1997) discussed as the "collective story," in which the voices of those who have been disenfranchised can be both heard and honoured.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Truscott, Derek (Educational Psychology)
    • Krogman, Naomi (Rural Economy)
    • Kreitzer, Linda (Social Work, University of Calgary)
    • Dorow, Sara (Sociology)