Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Killmer, J M.

Second Advisor

Xie, Xiaolin

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Family and Consumer Sciences


Most of the research concerning couples focuses on either couples and trauma or religion and couples. The current research investigated what role religion plays when Christian couples effectively navigated a trauma. Interviews were conducted with five Christian couples who experienced joint trauma more than eight years prior to the study. Interviews of the couples consisted of questions concerning what their trauma was, religious coping strategies utilized during and after their trauma, and the effect religious coping had on the couples’ ability to effectively navigate the traumatic event. Qualitative analysis found several major themes which included meaning making of the traumatic event, religious coping strategies utilized, effectively navigating the trauma, coming out stronger due to religion, and changes in their relationship with God and with their religion. The findings in this study suggests that religious couples appear to utilize religious coping mechanisms when faced with trauma and then effectively navigate their traumatic events. Due to the small sample size further research is needed.


105 pages




Northern Illinois University

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Media Type