Meaning-making appraisals relevant to adjustment for veterans with spinal cord injury

Terri A. DeRoon-Cassini, Ed De St. Aubin, Abbey K. Valvano, James Hastings, Karen J. Brasel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to conduct a mixed-methods investigation of meaning-making appraisals generated from spinal cord injury survivors' narratives of their injury experience. The sample consisted of 79 participants from an urban midwestern Veterans Affairs facility. The study design was cross-sectional and incorporated semistructured, face-to-face interviews, taking approximately 1 hr to complete. Measures of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, psychological well-being, and purpose in life were completed as part of the interview. A data analytic approach based on grounded theory that allowed qualitative themes to be transformed to quantitative data was employed. Seven salient meaningmaking themes were identified. Significant relationships were identified between certain meaningmaking themes (e.g., identity integration positively related to positive growth), and certain themes were also significantly related to postinjury psychological health and distress separately (e.g., perceived burden on others was significantly related to greater depression scores). Findings are discussed within the context of clinical interventions that foster positive posttrauma outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-193
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Meaning making
  • PTSD
  • Psychological well-being
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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