POSTTRAUMATIC CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN TRAUMA-CENTERED IDENTITY AND SELF-CONSISTENCY

Moore, Tal (2012) POSTTRAUMATIC CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN TRAUMA-CENTERED IDENTITY AND SELF-CONSISTENCY. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur in response
to traumatic experiences. Research has shown that the trauma memory may become central to
a survivor’s life story and result in a trauma-centred identity. Posttraumatic changes to identity
vary across cultures. Trauma-centred identity has been found to be positively associated with
PTSD symptoms in individualistic cultures, but not in collectivistic cultures. Cultural
differences have also been observed in levels of self-consistency. Individualistic cultures value
high levels of consistency, whereas collectivistic cultures promote identity flexibility and
adaptation to different social contexts. Several PTSD models describe the involvement of selfconsistency
in posttraumatic coping, but research to date has yet to examine cultural variations
in self-consistency and their relation to trauma-centred identity and PTSD.
The present study investigated the relationships between self-consistency, traumacentred
identity and posttraumatic symptoms across cultures. Trauma survivors from
individualistic (n= 60 British) and collectivistic (n= 37 Soviets) cultures completed the
Centrality of Events Scale, a self-consistency measure, and provided self-defining memories
and self-cognitions. Trauma-centred identity was positively associated with posttraumatic
symptoms in both cultural groups. Self-consistency was negatively associated with traumacentred
identity in the two groups, and with posttraumatic symptoms in the Soviet culture.
Mediation analyses indicated that levels of self-consistency mediated the impact of traumacenteredness
on the development of PTSD. It can be concluded that, following trauma, selfconsistency
appears to be protective for British and Soviets. The clinical implications of the
present finding, particularly the benefits of self-consistency in the treatment of clients from
British and Soviet cultures, are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2014 15:12
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2014 15:12
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48119
DOI:

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