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Title: Posttraumatic growth following major trauma
Author: Bilic, Lillian Louise
ISNI:       0000 0001 3464 091X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2006
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The relatively recent shift in research emphasis from virtually exclusive focus on the negative aftermath of trauma to an examination of possible benefits of surviving trauma holds much promise as more encompassing framework for understanding adjustment to adversity. However, a number of issues need to be highlighted. First, most research has been directed at documenting the prevalence of perceived growth following trauma as well as determining whether growth is associated with psychological adaptation (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004). This body of research has found perceptions of growth to be associated with both current and subsequent wellbeing (Davies & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2001, Curbow Somerfield, Baker, Wingard & Legro, 1993), although some studies have found no relationship (Tennen, Affleck, Urrows, Higgins & Mendola, 1992). Although the emphasis on documenting the prevalence and implications of perceiving growth is understandable given the status of this field, this focus leaves largely unexamined key questions concerning initial circumstances that serve catalyst of subsequent growth. In particular research is needed to determine predictors of posttraumatic growth and how these might be related to the objective circumstances or the subjective impact of the traumatic event. The broad goal of the present study was to examine the associations between trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress, cognitive processes, social support and perceived positive changes and posttraumatic growth in survivors of war and torture. Furthermore, the study aimed to test whether social support moderated the relationship between trauma exposure and posttraumatic growth and whether constructive cognitive processes mediate the relationship between trauma exposure and posttraumatic growth. Social support was found to moderate the relationship between trauma exposure and posttraumatic growth. Furthermore, in war and torture survivors, trauma exposure was found to predict posttraumatic growth via the mediating role of positive restructuring. Finally, in war and torture survivors, levels of trauma were associated with levels of posttraumatic stress disorder. Interestingly, the findings also suggested that posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth are not mutually exclusive. Similar levels of posttraumatic growth were reported both in the PTSD group as in the non-PTSD group.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available