Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Women-Rwanda-Psychology, Genocide-Rwanda-Psychological aspects, Resilience (Personality trait), Post-traumatic stress disorder, Resilience, Trauma, Rwandan genocide, Women


This qualitative thesis explores resiliency factors of 17 Rwandan women who survived the 1994 genocide. The psychological symptoms of trauma and resiliency research are explored as well as narrative healing techniques. The thesis uses secondary data of unedited testimonies collected after the genocide in Rwanda and qualitatively codes for resiliency. The research shows that the following factors aided in resiliency with this population: courage, a belief in God, carrying on the legacy of their family, communal support and a purpose in life. This body of work emphasizes the potential for not only healing after a trauma, but also increased growth, communal connection, hope, revitalized life purpose and faith in one's life path. This research, as well as other resiliency research may aid Social Workers' implementation of a therapeutic system that no longer emphasizes the potential pathology of a trauma survivor, but instead accentuates an individual's strengths and systems of support.




iii, 62 : col. map Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 55-58)