Cognitive processing pathways to posttraumatic growth

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Noone, Eleanor K.
  • Subject: BF0575.S75 | BF309 | BF636

This study investigated the relationship between unsupportive stressor-specific reactions to the disclosure of HIV and posttraumatic growth (PTG). Thirty-eight participants were recruited online and via non-statutory organisations. The sample was predominantly young, white, male, gay and HIV was well controlled with medication. Results showed that unsupportive reactions were not correlated with PTG. However, there was a significant indirect effect through total cognitive processing. This was broken down into a two-mediator model which was also significant. It showed that unsupportive reactions trigger intrusive rumination which, in turn, prompts deliberate rumination eventually leading to PTG. Further analysis showed that models using individual subscales of the unsupportive social interactions inventory (distancing, and bumbling subscales) also produced a significant indirect effect in, both one and two, mediator models. When the indirect effects of cognitive processing were accounted for, the negative direct effect of unsupportive interactions on PTG became significant. The findings suggest that unsupportive reactions to the disclosure of HIV may act as another ‘traumatic event’ and shows similar cognitive consequences. They also suggest that there is an alternative path to PTG, other than cognitive processing, which has not yet been identified in the literature and requires further investigation.
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