Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Beverly White, Psy.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

R. David J. Collins, Ph.D.


Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is often associated with devastating effects that are long-lasting and pervasive in nature. Though the sequelae vary from survivor to survivor, difficulties typically manifest psychologically, interpersonally, behaviorally, and in physical health problems. While there are many articles in the CSA literature on coping strategies and various treatment modalities, literature on the efficacy of treatment for this population is limited. Further absent from the CSA literature is an understanding of the impact that participation in religious activities has on the healing process within this population. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the impact that participation in Christian faith has on the healing process among female, African American, CSA survivors. The results suggested that participants found involvement in Christian faith activities to be a beneficial factor in their healing process, and that healing from CSA is a transitional process that is facilitated through a relationship with God and an understanding of His characteristics and promises. The implications of this study can be useful in clinical psychological practice with other CSA survivors of the Christian faith.