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Title: Towards a social model of posttraumatic stress : the role of adult attachment and group identification in a posttraumatic context
Author: Woodhouse, Sarah
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2019
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Researchers in the field of posttraumatic stress are widely agreed that social models of trauma are needed (e.g., Charuvastra & Cliotre, 2008). Leading models of trauma symptoms consist of cognitive mechanisms and constructs, with social factors often only included as secondary components (e.g. Ehlers & Clark, 2000). However, meta-analyses of risk factors for Posttrauamtic Stress Disorder (PTSD) routinely confirm that social support is one of the strongest predictors of symptom severity (e.g. Brewin, Andrews, & Valentine, 2000; Ozer et al., 2003). The meta-analytic results support future research, but the social support is a multi-dimensional 'catch-all' construct. The success of any future social model of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) is reliant on researchers finding more focused, nuanced, ways of understanding support and social/relational factors. The overarching purpose of this thesis was to highlight specific social factors worthy of inclusion in a future social model of PTSS. Two more specific aims guided the research. First, the thesis aimed to investigate the relationship between adult attachment and the development of symptoms of PTSD. Second, the thesis aimed to examine the role of social factors (e.g., group identification) in a posttraumatic context. These aims were assessed first through a meta-analytic study of published research on the relationship between adult attachment and PTSD. Following this, two crosssectional studies were conducted. The first proposed an exploratory social model, and tested the model using data from participants recruited online who experienced various traumas. The second explored the relationship between group identification and posttraumatic cognitions/symptoms in a small treatment-seeking military sample. Lastly, using a longitudinal design, the relationship between group identification (family and friends vs antenatal group) and posttraumatic cognitions/symptoms and well-being was examined in a large sample of women before and after birth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0575.A86 Attachment ; RC0552.P67 Post-traumatic stress disorder