DOES CONTROL MEDIATE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELF-COMPLEXITY AND POSTTRAUMATIC PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT?

Channer, Kerrie (2015) DOES CONTROL MEDIATE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SELF-COMPLEXITY AND POSTTRAUMATIC PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT? Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop following exposure to actual or threatened traumatic experiences. Research has shown that experiencing a trauma may alter, disrupt or distort ones identity. This thesis focused on the relationship between self-complexity (SC; Linville, 1985, 1987) and posttraumatic psychological adjustment. SC is defined as the number of non-overlapping self-aspects (i.e., traits, roles and behaviours) that one uses to describe themselves. Greater SC (i.e., where the self-aspects are many and differentiated) has been associated with better coping in response to adversity. The SC theory had only been tested once in relation to trauma (Morgan & Janoff-Bulman, 1994). The evidence-base has revealed mixed support for the SC theory; potentially due to methodological differences across studies. Furthermore, research found that greater SC may only be beneficial when people perceive the different parts of themselves to be under their control (McConnell et al., 2005).
Using a single group, cross-sectional, quantitative design, the research question ‘does control mediate the relationship between self-complexity and posttraumatic psychological adjustment?’ was investigated. Efforts were made to overcome the methodological limitations identified by previous research. One-hundred and ninety-four adult trauma survivors from the general public were recruited. The study was administered online and involved the completion of a SC task, three measures of posttraumatic psychological adjustment, a depression measure and brief demographic questions.
A significant positive correlation was found between negative SC and poorer posttraumatic psychological adjustment. A significant negative relationship was
Doctoral thesis: Does control mediate the relationship between Kerrie Channer
self-complexity and posttraumatic psychological adjustment?
ii
found between positive SC and depression scores. The relationship between PTSD symptomatology and SC (of both valences) was significantly mediated by control.
In the discussion the theoretical implications of the research findings for both the SC theory and the PTSD models are explored. Also the clinical implications, including the potential utility of the SC measure in assessment and treatment of PTSD are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2016 12:04
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2016 12:04
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/56886
DOI:

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