Growth and Hope after Loss: How TAPS Facilitates Posttraumatic Growth in Those Grieving Military Deaths

Grants and Contracts Details


The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) was formed in 1994 to provide ongoing emotional help, hope, and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one from all causes of death in military service. Over 40,000 bereaved adults and children have been helped by TAPS since its inception. This includes 5,000 suicide bereaved military family members with over 1,300 suicide survivors alone served by TAPS services in 2015. The rest of those served included bereaved from other sudden and traumatic causes (SAT) causes of death, including combat and training accidents In the proposed project, we will survey relatives of sudden and traumatic (SAT) military death and suicide bereaved relatives and friends of heroes receiving services from TAPS throughout a calendar year to determine which ones show decreases in problematic symptoms and increases in growth and hope, and which TAPS services seem to be associated with these positive changes. This will be conducted in three phases. An initial online survey of at least 500 individuals attending TAPS events or receiving TAPS services will be conducted and then re-conducted six months later. A second tier of data collection will occur during TAPS’ National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors during Memorial Day Weekend. Interviews will be conducted in-person and then again 6 months later through online data collection methods. A third tier of data collection will be conducted at the National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors. Measures of posttraumatic growth, resilience, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and in-depth qualitative interviews will conducted at each. The study will also interviews will focus on the components of TAPS programming that may facilitate growth after trauma, include evaluating the peer mentoring and case work that each participating individual receives.
Effective start/end date8/15/168/14/17


  • Eastern Kentucky University: $40,618.00


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