Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Sandra Bunkers


Taking a risk is intrinsic in being human. It is a universal experience important to health and quality of life. The theoretical framework guiding this study was the theory of humanbecoming. The purposes of this research were to determine the structure of the lived experience of taking a risk, to contribute to the unique body of nursing knowledge regarding the phenomenon of taking a risk, to expand the theory of humanbecoming, and to surface relevancy of taking a risk to health and quality of life. The Parse research method, a research tradition and methodology of the humanbecoming school of thought, was used to answer the research question: What is the structure of the lived experience of taking a risk? Ten participants who have experienced a natural disaster were recruited for this study. The processes of dialogical engagement, extraction-synthesis, and heuristic interpretation were used to discover the structure: Taking a risk is persevering amid potential peril, as discomforting trepidation with spirited delight surfaces in daunting endeavors. New knowledge contributed to the theory of humanbecoming, enhanced the understanding of taking a risk as it relates to health and quality of life, identified new opportunities for research, and provided recommendations for nursing practice.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Risk-taking (Psychology)
Disaster victims -- Attitudes
Natural disasters



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University