Predicting posttraumatic growth and posttraumatic stress in fire-fighters

Armstrong, Deanne, Shakespeare-Finch, Jane E., & Shochet, Ian M. (2014) Predicting posttraumatic growth and posttraumatic stress in fire-fighters. Australian Journal of Psychology, 66(1), pp. 38-46.

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Emergency service workers (e.g., fire-fighters, police and paramedics) are exposed to elevated levels of potentially traumatising events through the course of their work. Such exposure can have lasting negative consequences (e. g., Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; PTSD) and/or positive outcomes (e. g., Posttraumatic Growth; PTG). Research had implicated trauma, occupational and personal variables that account for variance in post-trauma outcomes yet at this stage no research has investigated these factors and their relative influence on both PTSD and PTG in a single study. Based in Calhoun and Tedeschi’s (2013) model of PTG and previous research, in this study regression models of PTG and PTSD symptoms among 218 fire-fighters were tested. Results indicated organisational factors predicted symptoms of PTSD, while there was partial support for the hypothesis that coping and social support would be predictors of PTG. Experiencing multiple sources of trauma, higher levels of organisational and operational stress, and utilising cognitive reappraisal coping, were all significant predictors of PTSD symptoms. Increases in PTG were predicted by experiencing trauma from multiple sources and the use of self-care coping. Results highlight the importance of organisational factors in the development of PTSD symptoms, and of individual factors for promoting PTG.

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10 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 62660
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: fire-fighters, posttraumatic growth, post traumatic stress, social support, organisational stress
DOI: 10.1111/ajpy.12032
ISSN: 0004-9530
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 18 Sep 2013 22:30
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2016 19:02

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