This qualitative study explored how American Prisoners of War (POWs) from the Vietnam War coped with the dramatic imbalance of power between them and their North Vietnamese captors. Semi-structured interviews with POWs (n = 16) were analyzed using phenomenological and grounded theory approaches to identify major themes and coping strategies embedded in their experiences of powerlessness. POWs shared emergent themes of Communication, Connection, Heroic Leadership, Establishing Our Routine, and Honor and Loyalty, which were then linked with components of Emerson’s theory of power-dependence relations. Many of these strategies functioned interdependently, which allowed these men to more effectively combat imbalances of power and produce a limited sense of agency for themselves and their fellow captured service members. These findings may aid clinicians in identifying critical areas for intervention with individuals who suffered traumas in group settings and may inform how future service members are trained.
School of Behavioral Health
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Male; Vietnam; Grounded Theory; Adaptation, Psychological; Prisoners
ix, 39 p.
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Roche, Sean Michael, "Power: A Qualitative Exploration of POWs in Captivity and Their Responses to Loss of Control" (2022). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1745.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives