Date of Award

Summer 8-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

J. Brandon Waits


College students who are exposed to trauma are likely to experience negative consequences such as adjustment difficulties, negative coping mechanisms, and poor academic achievement. It is important to identify factors that can reduce the effects of related negative outcomes and enhance an overall sense of well-being in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Previous research has shown gratitude and hope can increase well-being among trauma-exposed individuals. However, more research is needed to explore factors that may affect the degree to which both gratitude and hope promote well-being in this population. There are two main objects of the present study: First, the present study examined whether positive human traits (gratitude and hope) can increase both subjective well-being and psychological well-being among trauma-exposed college students. In addition, the current study assessed whether posttraumatic growth moderates the effectiveness of these traits on well-being. A total of 242 participants were included in final data analysis. Consistent with previous studies, the findings demonstrated that there were positive associations between positive human traits (gratitude and hope) and well-being. Additionally, the results suggest that posttraumatic growth did not moderate the relationship between hope and well-being. However, posttraumatic growth was found to significantly moderate the effects of the gratitude on well-being. Further research and practical implications of this study were discussed.