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A social model of posttraumatic stress disorder: Interpersonal trauma, attachment, group identification, disclosure, social acknowledgement, and negative cognitions

Woodhouse, S., Brown, R. and Ayers, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-6153-2460 (2018). A social model of posttraumatic stress disorder: Interpersonal trauma, attachment, group identification, disclosure, social acknowledgement, and negative cognitions. Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology, 2(2), pp. 35-48. doi: 10.1002/jts5.17

Abstract

In response to calls for social models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Charuvastra & Cloitre,), we hypothesize relationships between interpersonal/non-interpersonal traumatic events, fearful attachment style, emotional disclosure, group identification, social acknowledgment, posttraumatic cognitions, and core trauma symptoms. The utility of social support versus social acknowledgement is also briefly considered. To test this exploratory model, a cross-sectional survey of participants (N = 298) with varying levels of traumatic symptoms following mixed traumas was conducted. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to analyze the model. Results support a mediational model, with group identification appearing to mediate the relationship between fearful attachment and social acknowledgement, emotional disclosure appearing to mediate the relationship between interpersonal trauma and social acknowledgment, and posttraumatic cognitions appearing to mediate the relationship between social acknowledgement and core trauma symptoms. Results suggest that, within this exploratory model, social acknowledgment and social support explain a similar amount of variance in traumatic symptoms, but acknowledgment explains considerably more variance in cognitions than social support. The paper successfully applies current theoretical insights on group identification processes to the posttraumatic environment. This theoretical application is relatively novel within the PTSD literature and helps stimulate new theory in this domain. It also provides further evidence of the “social cure” theory. More broadly, the findings highlight the utility of social psychological constructs in helping explain trauma symptoms. We discuss the implications of our findings, the study limitations and suggest avenues for further research.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Woodhouse, S., Brown, R. and Ayers, S. (2018). A social model of posttraumatic stress disorder: Interpersonal trauma, attachment, group identification, disclosure, social acknowledgement, and negative cognitions. Journal of Theoretical Social Psychology, 2(2), doi: 10.1002/jts5.17, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/jts5.17. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Publisher Keywords: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, interpersonal trauma, attachment, social acknowledgment, group identification, disclosure, posttraumatic cognitions
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2020 09:57
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/25312
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