This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Coping, Meaning in Life, and Posttraumatic Growth in Incarcerated Women




Mautz, Elizabeth Kelley

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


The purpose of this study was to examine treatment results for incarcerated women in a southern-US women’s prison system who have participated in Beyond Trauma: A Healing Journey for Women (BT). Research indicates that comorbidity of substance use and psychiatric disorders is most common among incarcerated women (Abram, Teplin, & McClelland, 2003). Additionally, research indicates that incarcerated women tend to share common experiences including histories of abuse and/or trauma and substance or drug use (Moloney, Van Den Bergh, & Moller, 2009; Watson, Stimpson, & Hostick, 2004). As correctional systems continue to adopt programming focused on gender responsive care, such evidence suggests a need to more closely examine the effectiveness of treating trauma to address substance abuse and psychiatric issues among incarcerated women. This study focuses on the implementation of BT and its effectiveness in addressing coping, meaning in life, and posttraumatic growth. This study adds to existing research pertaining to coping, meaning in life, and posttraumatic growth, as well as the value and feasibility of one gender responsive treatment program. Results have implications for correctional systems and Counselor Education and Supervision programs that prepare mental health and rehabilitation counseling professionals working in correctional facilities or with inmates.