The Association Between Posttraumatic Negative Self-Conscious Cognitions and Emotions and Maladaptive Behaviors: Does Time Since Trauma Exposure Matter?
Negative beliefs about the self, self-blame, guilt, and shame have been consistently linked to emotional problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, following trauma exposure. To expand understanding of the potential role of negative self-conscious cognitions and emotions in other forms of posttrauma maladjustments, such as maladaptive behaviors, the current study examined the associations between these cognitions and emotions with dissociation, alcohol use, and avoidant problem-solving. As a secondary goal, the influence of time since trauma exposure was considered given recent data suggesting that some posttraumatic responses require lengthier time following trauma to become salient. Multiple-group analysis was conducted in two groups of female survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV): women whose IPV experiences occurred within 3 months prior to assessment (early posttrauma phase [EPP]; n = 67) and those whose experiences occurred 12 months or more prior to assessment (chronic posttrauma phase [CPP]; n = 145). The results suggested model invariance. Posttraumatic negative self-conscious cognitions and emotions were significantly correlated with dissociation (EPP group: β =.61, p <.001 and CPP group: β =.48, p <.001), alcohol use (EPP group: β =.31, p =.014 and CPP group: β =.30, p <.001), and avoidant problem-solving (EPP group: β =.58, p <.001 and CPP group: β =.56, p <.001). The findings highlight the importance of negative self-conscious cognitions and emotions in posttrauma maladjustment and support intervening in these domains shortly after trauma exposure.
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Tran, H., Lipinski, A., Peter, S., Dodson, T., Majeed, R., Savage, U., & Beck, J. (2019). The Association Between Posttraumatic Negative Self-Conscious Cognitions and Emotions and Maladaptive Behaviors: Does Time Since Trauma Exposure Matter?. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32 (2), 249-259. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.22388