Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Roberta Baer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wendy Nembhard, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Angrosino, Ph.D.


Values, Beliefs, American society, Disability, Wheelchair


Veterans with a spinal cord injury (SCI) engage in a complex and, often times, difficult dialogue within and through interactions in American society. That is, American society holds dear certain traditional values (ideals, beliefs, and customs) that promote the steady functioning and fabric of society. Through the process of enculturation and acculturation, likely, the majority of American citizens have already internalized many of these values. These values are cultural constructs of American society that can certainly influence and shape the myriad ways in which individual identity is formed.

By identifying these value sets and analyzing the ways in which SCI veterans interact within society, I hope to achieve three goals; (1)discover the ways in which SCI veterans create and negotiate a unique sense of identity in American society, (2) illustrate the overall implications from this study to the general SCI population in America, and (3) provide a set of recommendations for healthcare providers for the purposes of creating and engaging in meaningful dialogues with SCI patients as well as aiding in more successful and sustainable health interventions.