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Predictor variables of psychological distress and perceived growth following motor vehicle accidents

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2004
Birol, Aşkım Sevinç
This study aimed to examine the predictor variables of psychological distress and perceived growth among the survivors of motor vehicle accidents. Demographic characteristics as pre-accident variables, cognitive appraisals of the accident as accident related factors, coping strategies and social support as post-accident variables were used as predictors of distress and perceived growth. 200 adults (142 males and 58 females, ages between 18 and 65) participated in the study. Data was collected by a questionnaire which consisted of four parts. Three trained interviewers who were undergraduate psychology students, administered the questionaire individually. The first part examined on socio-demographic variables. The second part explored variables related to the accident, such as the status of the survivor as driver or non-driver, existence of injury or death to others in the accident, treatment after the accident, duration of hospitalization. The third part focused on the subject̕s accident related appraisals such as perceived level of responsibility, fear, helplessness, danger, thinking of death to oneself or others, sense of control, perceived level of injury severity. The fourth part contained five scales. Psychological distress was assessed by Impact of Event Scale (IES). Coping strategies were assessed by Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ). Stress Related Growth Scale (SRGS) was used to examine perceived growth. Social support was assessed via Social Support Scale and Depression scores of the participants were assessed by Beck Depression Inventory. The results revealed that the present sample was moderately distressed. The current distress level was significantly related to perceived growth. The general distress level was predicted by age, perceived threat and helplessness coping. Considering intrusive symptoms, age, not having social security entitlement,