Date of Conferral





Human Services


Sarah A. Matthey


AbstractMissionary Kids and Trauma by Lindsay E. Stone

MA, Walden University, 2019MA, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2010 BS, Charleston Southern University, 2006

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Human and Social Services

Walden University February 2021 Abstract Missionary kids (MKs) around the world are more exposed to trauma than non-MKs. MKs often struggle with grief, loss, and stressors of cross-cultural living. Childhood trauma leads to short-and long-term effects of trauma, often into adulthood. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore adult, Christian MKs’ perceptions of external trauma on the mission field. Contemporary trauma theory was used to frame this study. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 8 adult MK participants. These interviews were recorded, transcribed, and hand coded for analysis using Lui’s 5 steps of data analysis: (a) initial reading of the text data, (b) identification of specific text segments related to the objectives, (c) labelling the segments of the text to create categories, (d) reducing overlap and redundancy among the categories, and (e) creating a model incorporating most important categories. The thematic analysis results indicated that MKs experienced difficulty with: (a) mental health; (b) civil unrest; (c) physical harm; (d) separation from loved ones and uprooting, “goodbyes;” (e) lack of support; (f) difficulty with cultural identity, belonging, and language barriers; and (g) experience with epidemics and natural disasters. This study promotes positive social change by providing a better understanding of MKs and their perceptions of their experiences on the field in regard to trauma. MKs may benefit from the results of this study through receiving better support services created specifically for MKs who have experienced trauma.