Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy

Article excerpt

Wortmann, J.H., Park, C.L., and Edmondson, D.

Trauma and PTSD Symptoms: Does Spiritual Struggle Mediate the Link?

Vol. 3, 442-452 (2011)

There are many studies geared to investigate the mechanisms that are at work in the development and maintenance of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Research has shown that negative cognitive patterns, such as negative beliefs about the self, the world, and self-blame, are what help to predict severity of PTSD symptoms. Spirituality comes into play in that individuals use their religion or spiritual beliefs in coping with stressors. Spiritual struggle is similar to the negative thought patterns of individuals suffering from PTSD in that it consists of negative thoughts about the cause of, responsibility for, and future implications of stressful events. Although research in this area has linked PTSD to spiritual struggle, little is known about directionality between these variables.

A total of 245 incoming college students completed a survey at two different time points: prior to fall semester and at the end of the spring semester. The majority of the sample was White non-Hispanic (69.4%) women (58%) with ages ranging from 17 to 23 years. At Time 1, participants filled out questionnaires that measured trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms. At Time 2, participants answered questions regarding stressful life events and traumatic events in their first year of college. Based on this information, they were categorized into trauma versus nontrauma groups. …

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