Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Bret Kloos


In October 2015, the state of South Carolina was devastated by effects related to hurricane Joaquin. The event set new state records for rainfall totals. Contemporary research highlights the need to increase community resilience so that populations can better adapt to the unique stressors presented by natural disasters. Using the framework provided by Norris et al. (2008) we measure four “capacities” of community resilience: Economic Development, Social Capital, Information and Communication, and Social Trust to determine their relationship to the development of PTSD symptoms and feelings of hope. Results revealed that overall perceived community resilience was a significant predictor of hope and PTSD symptoms. Community capacities of Social Capital and Social Trust were found to be significant predictors of PTSD symptoms and hope, respectively. These results can be used by communities in preparation for natural disasters and to promote psychological well-being before, during, and after these events.