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ISSN: 1429-8538
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vol. 17
Original paper

Application of the shattered assumptions theory of trauma by Ronnie Janoff-Bulman in research on assumptions of parents of children during oncological treatment

Maciej Załuski

Psychoonkologia 2013, 4: 133–144
Online publish date: 2014/04/22
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Background: The aim of this article is to present the shattered assumptions theory of trauma by Ronnie Janoff-Bulman. It is a theoretical construct it makes it possible for understanding the human behaviors following extreme negative events. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the differences of fundamental assumptions of parents whose children were treatment due to oncological illness, and comparative groups: the parents-student of nursing, and the patients of the mental health clinic. In the research was tested the relationship between traumatic stress and parents’ assumptions about itself, world, and other people.

Material and methods: The study included 3 group of subjects: parents of children with cancer, parents-students of nursing, and mental health clinic patients. The polish version of the World Assumptions Scale and the PTSD-K1 inventory was administered to 492 individuals, 100 of whom were parents of child with cancer, 265 parents – students of nursing, and 127 mental health clinic patients. Parametric tests of significance between means, and regression analysis were used to data verification.

Results: The study showed that assumptions about self-worth, the benevolence of the people, lucky, and self-controllability differed across the three groups. Research results showed relationship between the level of assumptions and occurrence of symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The data was compared with the other researchers to show the role of assumptions in adaptation process of people in the new, difficult situation.

Conclusions: The shattered assumptions theory of trauma is since 1989 used in the evaluation and in the psychological treatment of the people with traumatic stress symptoms. The study showed it usefulness in Poland too, to make better communication process between the medical staff and the patient, and it family.

shattered assumptions theory, fundamental assumptions, post-traumatic stress symptoms, parents, childhood cancer

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