Experience of a Lifetime: Study Abroad, Trauma, and Institutional Betrayal

Naomi M. Wright, Carly P. Smith, Jennifer J. Freyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study is the first to expand the investigation of study-abroad risks to include a range of traumatic experiences for male and female students and to examine effects of institutional betrayal (i.e., an institution’s failure to prevent trauma or support survivors). In an online survey of 173 university students who had studied abroad, many respondents (45.44%, n = 79) reported exposure to at least 1 traumatic experience while abroad, most frequently natural disasters, sexual assault, and unwanted sexual experiences. Of students exposed to potentially traumatic events, more than one third (35.44%, n = 28) also reported at least 1 form of related institutional betrayal, which uniquely correlated with posttraumatic distress in some participants, when controlling for lifetime trauma history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-68
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Experience of a Lifetime: Study Abroad, Trauma, and Institutional Betrayal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this