Laura A. Voith, PhD, Assistant Professor, was lead author of an exploratory study published in the Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma which used focus groups and participant-observation to examine areas of personal development, knowledge, and skills that former graduates, staff, and administrators of a Philippines-based independent living program believed essential for the success of young women with traumatic histories.

Thematic analysis revealed three themes: (1) Psycho-Emotional-Spiritual Well-Being, (2) Cultivating a Fighting Spirit, and (3) Financial Stability. Distinct from much of the literature, spiritual development — a mechanism of Psycho-Emotional-Spiritual Well-Being — and Cultivating a Fighting Spirit, a form of empowerment, emerged as important areas of development. The focal program emphasized personal development and restoration for the survival and success of young Filipina women in their agency.

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