Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Date of Defense

8-28-2015

Graduate Advisor

Steven E. Bruce, Ph.D.

Committee

Taylor, Matthew J.

Carbone-Lopez, Kristin

Johnson, Sharon D.

Abstract

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a relatively recent diagnosis that results in significant personal and societal costs. Given the diversity of American mental health consumers, a more thorough understanding of PTSD and its relation to cultural factors may have important implications for treatment implementation and refinement. Cultural factors such as locus of control, religiosity, and religious coping have been frequently overlooked in trauma research, yet show a clear link to PTSD risk and symptomatology. This study examined these cultural factors in more detail with relation to race and trauma type and their combined influence on PTSD symptomatology. A national sample of adults (N = 1,654) who endorsed a Criterion A event completed a series of online questionnaires. Analyses showed that participants who experienced a noninterpersonal index trauma and more negative religious coping tended to report the highest levels of PTSD. African Americans who reported more negative religious coping also tended to report the most symptoms of PTSD when compared to Whites. Such findings suggest the importance of considering the ways religion may influence one’s meaning-making following a traumatic experience. Clinical implications and future research directions are also discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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