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Title: Empathy and self-compassion in post-traumatic stress disorder
Author: Rose, Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0001 3536 0768
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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The area of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has attracted a large amount of research interest. Research has attempted to explore both what may contribute towards an individual developing symptoms following exposure to traumatic stressor, and what may protect against severe symptoms. This thesis considers models of PTSD, together with research exploring potential risk or protective factors associated with the onset and maintenance of symptoms of PTSD. The relationship between empathy and PTSD has attracted little research, however, studies exploring vicarious or secondary traumatisation, suggest that empathy may be a risk factor for developing symptoms. An exploration of empathy and its consistent parts, including the skills of emotion recognition required in order to interact successfully and respond appropriately to others, is considered. The empirical study examined the role of empathy and self-compassion within primary PTSD. Measures of empathy were provided in the form of a self-report scale and ratings of pleasantness and arousal when viewing emotional facial expressions. An emotion recognition task (following the paradigm of Joormann & Gotlib, 2006) was also completed to explore the association between levels of empathy and the skills of emotion recognition. It was predicted that participants with PTSD would have higher levels of empathy and lower self-compassion than accident exposed individuals with no PTSD and a non-accident exposed group. These predicted differences were not found, however, correlations revealed a positive relationship between symptom severity and some empathy subscales. Results are discussed and suggestions for future research made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available