An exploratory study into the association between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) coping styles, Posttraumatic Stress, and Posttraumatic Growth in working age adults who have experienced a traumatic life event
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Although recent research and theory indicates that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment might benefit from the utilisation of coping styles facilitated by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), there has been little research exploring the relationships between these coping styles, posttraumatic cognitions, and PTSD symptomology. Furthermore, the ACT model (Hayes, Strosahl & Wilson, 1999) suggests that ACT-consistent coping styles may be associated with increased positive outcome after trauma, such as posttraumatic growth (PTG). The present study aimed to explore individual differences in ACT coping styles in individuals with a history of psychological trauma. A total of 112 participants completed online self-report measures of PTSD symptom severity, posttraumatic cognitions, ACT coping styles and PTG. Regression analyses revealed that higher ACT coping styles (specifically experiential acceptance) are associated with lower PTSD symptom severity and lower posttraumatic cognitions. Furthermore, the effect of ACT coping styles on PTSD severity was partially mediated by posttraumatic cognitions, indicating that ACT coping styles act on PTSD directly and indirectly. There was no evidence that higher ACT coping styles were significantly associated with higher levels of posttraumatic growth (PTG). The findings suggest that effective treatment for trauma survivors could facilitate ACT-consistent coping styles.
Doctor of Clinical Psychology