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Trauma Characteristics and Posttraumatic Growth: The Mediating Role of Avoidance Coping, Intrusive Thoughts, and Social Support

Brooks, M and Graham-Kevan, N and Robinson, S and Lowe, M (2019) Trauma Characteristics and Posttraumatic Growth: The Mediating Role of Avoidance Coping, Intrusive Thoughts, and Social Support. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 11 (2). pp. 232-238. ISSN 1942-9681

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Abstract

© 2018 American Psychological Association. Objective: Previous research suggests trauma characteristics can impact on posttraumatic growth (PTG). The current study considers whether previously identified predictors of PTG may produce different outcomes dependent on the characteristics of the trauma experienced. Method: Active coping, avoidant coping, emotional coping, intrusive thoughts, social support, and spirituality were examined as potential mediators of relationships between trauma characteristics (interpersonal trauma, number of trauma types, and childhood trauma) and PTG. The responses of 268 adults exposed to multiple and wide-ranging stressors were used to generate three multiple mediation models. Results: Intrusive thoughts and social support exerted small but significant indirect effects in all three multiple mediation models. Avoidant coping mediated associations between the number of trauma types and PTG, and the relationship between childhood trauma to PTG. Conclusion: Relationships between trauma characteristics and PTG appear to be explained through the presence of avoidant coping strategies, intrusive thoughts, and the individual's social environment, which could be the focus of intervention efforts to promote positive change.

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