Date of Conferral





Human Services


Dr. Barbara Benoliel


Domestic violence is a continuing public health problem. Immigrant women facing domestic violence have additional challenges in dealing with domestic violence and accessing services. Hopeful thinking has been identified as a strategy for intervening and surviving beyond domestic violence. The purpose of this multiple descriptive case study was to explore hopeful thinking in Haitian immigrant women domestic abuse survivors' (HIDAS) conceptualizations of the future beyond domestic abuse. The framework for the study was resilience theory, which emphasizes the individual's ability to bounce back from stressful situations. This framework was used to investigate how HIDAS in the United States experience hopeful thinking and the role hopeful thinking plays in how they perceive the future. Four women participants were recruited from a Haitian community in Florida, and data were collected through interviews. Findings from content analysis showed that while each woman had a different strategy for how to get out of the abusive relationships, they became independent by hoping that things would change for the better. Although the interpretation of findings clarified these survivors' experiences of domestic abuse, the findings are not meant to solve the larger problem of domestic abuse. The study results may influence social change by informing development of operational hope-based community and trauma intervention services for HIDAS and other groups of immigrant women.