Posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth in the aftermath of terrorism: the roles of exposure, media, world assumptions, coping, and rumination

Gökhan, Kübra.
The current study aims to investigate the factors related to the negative (i.e., posttraumatic stress) and positive (i.e., posttraumatic growth) psychological consequences of the repeated terrorist attacks that occurred between the years of 2015 – 2017 in Turkey. With this aim, the predictive roles of several pre-event, event-related, and post-event factors were examined in explaining participants’ level of posttraumatic stress symptoms versus posttraumatic growth. These factors were sociodemographic variables, prior trauma experiences, degree of terror exposure, level of media exposure to the attack, time that elapsed since the attack, event-related rumination, coping, and world assumptions. The sample consisted of 305 adults (226 females, 79 males), aged between 18 and 58. The participants were given Sociodemographic Information Form, Traumatic Event Checklist, World Assumptions Scale, Exposure to Terror Attack Inventory, The Impact of Event Scale – Revised, the Event-Related Rumination Inventory, Ways of Coping Inventory, and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory respectively. Separate hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted for PTS, PTG and all of their domains. The main findings showed that older age, lower education, higher level of media exposure to the attack, more intrusive rumination, negative assumptions of benevolence of the world and positive assumptions of justice/controllability were predictors of the PTS in the last step of regression. Moreover, having previous trauma experience, more engagement in deliberate rumination, more use of fatalistic coping and seeking social support/optimistic coping, positive assumptions of justice/controllability and intrusion symptoms predicted PTG in the last step. The results were discussed in relation to the existing literature and clinical implications. Strengths, limitations, and directions for future research were also presented.