Socio-cultural contexts in trauma recovery and post trauma growth in women who experienced intimate partner violence: A social constructivist lens

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Virginia Tech

Trauma recovery and post trauma growth are two desirable outcomes of a traumatic event. Meaning-making and narrative development are two processes that support both trauma recovery and post trauma growth. The way in which we make meaning or develop stories about the events in our lives however, are governed by socio-cultural contexts. Social constructivism emphasizes that the way in which individuals think, feel, and act are engrained in her being early on by the social and cultural networks that surround her. Therefore, even though an individual may think that she is generating a thought or making a choice, these processes have already been influenced by socio-cultural contexts long before she learned how to speak or formulate a worldview. This study aimed to examine the lived experiences of women who have been through intimate partner violence, tracing their journey towards trauma recovery and post trauma growth, and trying to find how and the extent to which their journeys were affected by socio-cultural contexts. This study takes a social constructivist lens that emphasizes the effects of our socio-cultural environment on individual meaning-making, narrative development, and decision making post trauma. The results of the study indicate that socio-cultural contexts play a significant role in individual responses to trauma like intimate partner violence, and there are socio-cultural components that can facilitate trauma recovery and post trauma growth.

Trauma recovery, post trauma growth, intimate partner violence, socio-cultural contexts, social constructivism.