Title page for ETD etd-05082011-131621

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Immel, Christopher
URN etd-05082011-131621
Title Identifying Protective Factors of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, and Self-Reported Health Outcomes of Residential Fire Survivors
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jones, Russell T. Committee Chair
Harrison, David W. Committee Member
Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen Committee Member
Winett, Richard A. Committee Member
  • Resource Loss
  • Social Support
  • Somatic Health
  • Peritraumatic Emotionality
  • Depression
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Date of Defense 2011-05-02
Availability restricted
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been demonstrated as the primary pathway through which morbidity and mortality is achieved post-trauma. However, less is known about protective factors to PTSD, depression, and self-reported health outcomes of adults following a traumatic event. Through examination of residential fire survivors, the current project evaluated the predictive validity of protective factors of PTSD as they relate to PTSD, depression, and somatic health outcomes. Additionally, the project collapsed the three outcomes variables into a unified health construct and evaluated protective factors ability to predict health. It was hypothesized the peritraumatic emotionality, social support, and resource loss would predict PTSD, depression, and somatic health. Additionally, it was predicted that peritraumatic emotionality, social support, and resource loss would predict a unified construct of health. Participants were assessed via self-report and semi-structured interviews approximately four months post-fire. Results of the current project demonstrated strong associations amongst peritraumatic emotionality and resource loss for many of the outcome variables. However, social support was not found to be a predictor of any of the outcomes variables. When evaluating the unified health construct, resource loss was found to significant predict a resilient group of trauma survivors four months post-fire. The present study suggests lower peritraumatic emotionality and lower sustained resource loss are significant protective factors for resiliency from trauma.
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