Self-efficacy mediates effects of exposure, loss of resources, and life stress on posttraumatic distress among trauma survivors

Aleksandra Łuszczyńska , Charles C. Benight , Roman Cieślak , Patricia Kissinger , Kathleen Heather Reilly , Rebecca A. Clark


Trauma exposure, loss of resources, and stressful life events are usually listed among key predictors of posttraumatic adaptation. Our studies investigated if self-efficacy (i.e. beliefs about ability to deal with posttraumatic adversities) mediates the relationships between these peri- and post-traumatic risk factors and mental health. Study 1 investigated these relationships among 50 Hurricane Katrina survivors infected with HIV. Specifically, it was hypothesised that the effects of exposure and loss of resources (measured 1 year after the disaster) on posttraumatic symptoms and general distress (measured 2 years after disaster) would be mediated by self-efficacy (assessed 1 year after trauma). Study 2, enrolling 70 survivors of motor vehicle accidents, tested the mediating effect of self-efficacy in the relationship between stressful life events (reported at approximately 7 days after the trauma) and PTSD symptom severity and number (measured 90 days later). Results of both studies confirmed the mediating effects of beliefs about the ability to deal with posttraumatic adversities, whereas the direct effects of trauma exposure, number of stressors, and losses on mental health were negligible. Our findings indicate that although self-efficacy beliefs are affected by trauma and stressful life events (in particular, balance of negative and positive events), they should facilitate posttraumatic adaptation.
Author Aleksandra Łuszczyńska (Wydział Zamiejscowy we Wrocławiu)
Aleksandra Łuszczyńska,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy we Wrocławiu
, Charles C. Benight
Charles C. Benight,,
, Roman Cieślak (Wydział Psychologii)
Roman Cieślak,,
- Wydział Psychologii
, Patricia Kissinger
Patricia Kissinger,,
, Kathleen Heather Reilly
Kathleen Heather Reilly,,
, Rebecca A. Clark
Rebecca A. Clark,,
Issue year2009
Publication size in sheets0
Keywords in Englishcognition;HIV;motor vehicle accident;natural disaster;posttraumatic stress disorder;self-efficacy;trauma;USA
Languageen angielski
Luszczynska-Benight-Cieslak-Kissinger-Reilly-Clark-2009.pdf of 14-09-2015
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Score (nominal)4
Citation count*31 (2021-03-07)
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