This study aims to address the lack of standardized measurement of the effects of trauma on identity. Waterman's (2020) theory, taxonomy, and Trauma Impacts on Identity Functioning Scales were used to evaluate the effects of traumatic brain injury on identity. TBI survivors compared their sense of identity from pre-to-post TBI. Data collection consisted of 2 interviews and participants were compensated with $60 gift cards. Participants (N = 15, Mage = 52.67) were recruited from several language disorder groups. In terms of identity functioning post-brain injury, participant reports of their experiences varied quite a bit from identity loss to a strengthened identity. There was a significant increase in identity distress from pre- to post-brain injury as well. Time since trauma was not significantly correlated with identity functioning nor with identity distress change scores. This suggests the need for future research to determine which factors influence whether and why survivors' experience post-traumatic identity disruption and/or growth, as it appears that time alone is not sufficient.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Clinical Psychology; Research Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Wagaman, Bailey, "The Effects of Traumatic Experiences on Identity Among People with Expressive Language Disorders" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1110.