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Impact of Perceived Social Support on Event Stressfulness, Core Beliefs Disruption, and Posttraumatic Growth in College Students

Title: The Impact of Perceived Social Support on Event Stressfulness, Core Beliefs Disruption, and Posttraumatic Growth in College Students.
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Name(s): Dabel, Vanessa, author
Canto, Angela I., professor directing dissertation
Randolph, Karen A., university representative
Ebener, Deborah J., committee member
Pfeiffer, Steven I., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Education, degree granting college
Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (147 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Findings from trauma research have indicated that college students report high rates of trauma exposure, yet they may also experience positive growth outcomes following traumatic events. Researchers also indicate that perceptions of social support resources may impact the capacity for posttraumatic growth in these young adults. Examining the factors that may foster these positive posttrauma outcomes is necessary to develop more interventions that promote posttraumatic growth for trauma-exposed individuals, especially young adults in college. As a result of this research, individuals may also better understand the importance of perceived social support following trauma. Therefore, the impact of perceived social support on posttrauma outcomes in college students was examined in this study. The goal of the present study was to investigate the possible mediating and/or moderating effects of perceived social support on the relationship between event stressfulness, core beliefs disruption, and posttraumatic growth. The study sample consisted of students from colleges and universities within the United States. A total of 212 participants were included in final statistical analyses because they endorsed an event stressfulness level of 4 or more, thus indicating a significant level of distress that could potentially contribute to posttraumatic growth (Groleau, Calhoun, Cann, & Tedeschi, 2013; Joseph, Murphy & Regel, 2012). Data for this study were collected between Summer and Fall 2015. Participants ranged from 18 to 25 years of age. Trauma, event stressfulness, core beliefs disruption, perceived social support, and posttraumatic growth were assessed using the Trauma History Questionnaire (Green, 1996), a one-item Event Stressfulness measure (Cann et al., 2010), the Core Beliefs Inventory (Cann et al., 2010), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet, Dahlem, Zimet, & Farley, 1988), and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996), respectively. A series of regression analyses, including one hierarchical regression analysis, were used to examine the research questions. Based on findings from this study, event stressfulness, core beliefs disruption, and perceived social support were good predictors of posttraumatic growth. Additionally, participants’ perceptions of social support resources moderated the relationship between event stressfulness, core beliefs disruption, and posttraumatic growth. Perceived social support was not found to be a mediator in this relationship. In addition, a bivariate correlation analysis was used to examine relationships among the variables. Results showed significant, positive associations among event stressfulness, core beliefs disruption, and posttraumatic growth. Posttraumatic growth was not significantly correlated with endorsement of trauma. Perceived social support was shown to have a significant, negative relationship with endorsement of trauma, but was not significantly positively correlated with any other variable. Discussion of the implications for these results is provided, as well as study limitations and directions for future research.
Identifier: FSU_2016SU_Dabel_fsu_0071E_13361 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester 2016.
Date of Defense: May 16, 2016.
Keywords: college students, core beliefs disruption, event stressfulness, perceived social support, posttraumatic growth, trauma
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Angela I. Canto, Professor Directing Dissertation; Karen Randolph, University Representative; Deborah Ebener, Committee Member; Steven Pfeiffer, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Psychology
Counseling psychology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_2016SU_Dabel_fsu_0071E_13361
Owner Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Dabel, V. (2016). The Impact of Perceived Social Support on Event Stressfulness, Core Beliefs Disruption, and Posttraumatic Growth in College Students. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_2016SU_Dabel_fsu_0071E_13361