Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Social Work

First Advisor

Lynn M. Parker, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Enid O. Cox

Third Advisor

Kathy Green


Family factors, Personal attributes, Posttraumatic growth, Resilience, Social capital, Tsunami


This study examined the various factors at the individual, family, and community level that helped the adult individuals survive the trans-oceanic tsunami which hit the coastal areas of India on December 26, 2004.The study made use of a concurrent mixed methods design to achieve the above objective. The quantitative section of the research examined the effects of individual, family, and community factors on adult post-traumatic growth. The qualitative section of the study sought to capture the subjective experience of the tsunami survivors using a phenomenological approach. The target population were adults, aged 18 to 55 from Kerala, India, who were exposed to the tsunami natural disaster of 2004. Using the purposive sampling method, I recruited 301 participants for the quantitative research and 8 participants for the qualitative research. Analysis of the quantitative data, using hierarchical regression analysis, revealed that religion, employment, family type, family flexibility, and family communication were the significant predictors of post-traumatic growth. Analysis of the qualitative data, using the modified form of the Van Kaam's method of phenomenological analysis, revealed 6 major themes, including the subjective experience of encountering killer waves, the subjective experience during rescue and relief phase, the subjective experience during recovery process, resources at the personal, family, and community level, obstacles to recovery, and recommendations to improve disaster services. Implications for social work practice, research and education, and policy were discussed. The findings of this study may enhance the ability of social scientists to influence disaster-related practice, policy, and research in India.

Publication Statement

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

Rights Holder

Johny Augustine


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

216 p.


Social work