Longitudinal interplay between posttraumatic stress symptoms and coping self-efficacy: A four-wave prospective study

M.W.G. Bosmans, P.G. van der Velden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Trauma-related coping self-efficacy (CSE), the perceived capability to manage one's personal functioning and the myriad environmental demands of the aftermath of potentially traumatic events (PTE), has been shown to affect psychological outcomes after these events. Aim of the present four-wave study was to examine the cross-lagged relationships between CSE and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms following PTEs in order to examine direction of influence. Levels of CSE and PTSD symptoms were measured with 4-month intervals. In addition, prospectively assessed personality traits and general selfefficacy perceptions as well as peritraumatic distress were entered in the analyses. The study sample consists of adult respondents of a representative internet panel who experienced PTE in the six months before T1, and did not experience any new PTE or life event between T1 and T3
(N ¼ 400). Respondents were administered the coping self-efficacy scale (CSE-7), impact of event scale (IES) and arousal items of IES-R at each wave (T1 through T3), as well as questions on peritraumatic stress and prospectively measured personality traits (T0). Results of structural equation modeling showed that the effect of CSE on subsequent PTSD symptom levels was dominant. CSE significantly predicted subsequent symptoms, over and above earlier symptom levels, with higher CSE associated with lower PTSD.
Symptoms in turn, did not predict subsequent levels of CSE. Higher peritraumatic distress was associated with both higher initial PTSD symptoms and lower initial CSE levels. Higher levels of the personality
traits of emotional stability and agreeableness were associated with higher initial CSE levels. This supports a model in which CSE perceptions play an important role in recovery from trauma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
JournalSocial Science & Medicine
Volume134
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • trauma, personality, coping self-efficacy

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