samedi 10 août 2013

Trauma, Resilience, and Vulnerability in Post-genocide Rwanda: A Qualitative Hypothesis-generating Study

  Carl F. Auerbach, Ph.D.; Vincent Sezibera, Ph.D.; Fabien Dushimirimana,, B.A; Moise Nkurunziza,, B.A., Isaïe Mihigo, B.A.

Yeshiva University and National University of Rwanda


This qualitative hypothesis-generating study examines trauma, resilience, and vulnerability in post-genocide Rwanda. The first study examined resilience in a purposive sample of 20 research participants. All the partisans had been young children during the genocide, and both of their parents had been killed during the genocide. The interviews were analyzed using a grounded theory procedure (Straus & Corbin, 1990), from which the following theoretical narrative emerged. (1) The loss and violence of the genocide shattered the participants’ assumptive world. (2) Based on their educational achievements, they developed a sense of self efficacy that allowed them to put their traumatic past behind them and develop a belief in a positive future. (3) Safety, provided by the policies of the Rwandan government, (4) Connection and mutual support, provided by AERG, and (5) Ability to regulate fear and anger, provided by their church organizations. A second study examined a vulnerable group, consisting of a convenience sample of 12 participants aged from 25 to 79. The following theoretical narrative emerged. (1) The violence and loss of the genocide shattered the participants’ assumptive world. (2) The participants did not feel protected by the Rwandan government. (3) The participants felt isolated from their neighbors, whom they viewed with suspicion. (4) The participants experienced PTSD symptoms triggered by events they associated with the genocide. These results provide guidelines for adapting existing quantitative trauma, resource, and resilience scales to a Rwandan context.

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