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Title: Post-traumatic cultural differences in trauma-centered identity and self-consistency
Author: Moore, Tal
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur in response to traumatic experiences. Research has shown that the trauma memory may become central to a survivor’s life story and result in a trauma-centred identity. Posttraumatic changes to identity vary across cultures. Trauma-centred identity has been found to be positively associated with PTSD symptoms in individualistic cultures, but not in collectivistic cultures. Cultural differences have also been observed in levels of self-consistency. Individualistic cultures value high levels of consistency, whereas collectivistic cultures promote identity flexibility and adaptation to different social contexts. Several PTSD models describe the involvement of selfconsistency in posttraumatic coping, but research to date has yet to examine cultural variations in self-consistency and their relation to trauma-centred identity and PTSD. The present study investigated the relationships between self-consistency, traumacentred identity and posttraumatic symptoms across cultures. Trauma survivors from individualistic (n= 60 British) and collectivistic (n= 37 Soviets) cultures completed the Centrality of Events Scale, a self-consistency measure, and provided self-defining memories and self-cognitions. Trauma-centred identity was positively associated with posttraumatic symptoms in both cultural groups. Self-consistency was negatively associated with traumacentred identity in the two groups, and with posttraumatic symptoms in the Soviet culture. Mediation analyses indicated that levels of self-consistency mediated the impact of traumacenteredness on the development of PTSD. It can be concluded that, following trauma, selfconsistency appears to be protective for British and Soviets. The clinical implications of the present finding, particularly the benefits of self-consistency in the treatment of clients from British and Soviet cultures, are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available