ISSN: 1230-2813
Advances in Psychiatry and Neurology/Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii
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vol. 27
Original article

Cognitive processing of trauma as a predictor of the negative and positive consequences of experienced traumatic events

Zygfryd Juczyński, Nina Ogińska-Bulik

Adv Psychiatry Neurol 2018; 27 (4): 318-333
Online publish date: 2018/12/31
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The cognitive processing of trauma, expressed in the form of coping strategies, aims to help individuals adapt to the new reality that emerges following an experience of trauma. The research presented here is focused on determining the role of cognitive strategies of coping with trauma and the occurrence of consequences both negative, in the form of posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), and positive, in the form of posttraumatic growth (PTG).

A total of 340 people who experienced various traumatic events (female victims of domestic violence, victims of road accidents, parents of children with cancer, parents of physically disabled children, men with paraplegia and paramedics) were examined. The research involved the use of several standardized measurement tools, including the Cognitive Processing of Trauma Scale (CPOTS), PTSD Check List for DSM-5 (PCL-5), the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI).

Negative strategies (denial, regret) were positively related to PTSD, and negative to PTG, while positive strategies (positive cognitive restructuring, resolution acceptance, downward comparison) inversely, positively with PTG and negatively with PTSD. The strategy of regret proved to be the best predictor of PTSD, while the strategies of resolution/acceptance – the best predictor of PTG. The role of cognitive coping strategies with trauma varies depending on the type of experienced events.

The cognitive processing of trauma plays an important role in the occurrence of negative and positive consequences of experienced events. The obtained results may have important practical implications, especially in the therapy of people exposed to trauma.


posttraumatic stress disorder, cognitive processing of trauma, posttraumatic growth, stress management

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