Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Communication Studies

First Advisor

Mary Claire Loftus

Second Advisor

Erin Willer

Third Advisor

Youlee Kim


Communication, Trauma, Support


This study aimed to explore what constitutes effective and ineffective social support after an individual endures trauma. Participants were recruited mainly through social media to complete an online survey with open-ended questions. The survey provided participants with the opportunity to reflect and share the social support they received after the endured trauma, specifically disclosing what support messages were effective and ineffective, and why these messages were effective and ineffective. The messages found to be effectively supportive after the endured trauma, and the ones most frequently mentioned were emotional and appraisal support. These messages were found to be effective due to the reassuring nature of them, providing survivors with encouragement and strength to process and manage their trauma. The messages found to be ineffective after the endured trauma, and the ones most frequently mentioned was informational support. These messages were found to be ineffective due to lacking acknowledgment. A lack of acknowledgment left trauma survivors feeling as if they did not have a right to feel vulnerable, and left their feelings invalidated. In regards to social support after trauma, reassurance is a necessary component, and receiving this support from close relational partners can be additionally beneficial due to relational expectations, leaving the survivor with positive relational satisfaction.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Emily Abellon


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

108 pgs