The Role of Acceptance in PTSD Symptomatology Among a Nonclinical Sample

Gerard, Amanda E. (2015) The Role of Acceptance in PTSD Symptomatology Among a Nonclinical Sample. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Todd Smitherman from Psychology, The University of Mississippi.


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Studies have demonstrated the role of various psychological factors such as avoidance in PTSD (Marx & Sloan, 2005; Badour et al., 2012), but research examining the role of acceptance is limited. The few studies performed in the area have demonstrated significant associations between acceptance and PTSD symptomatology (Tull et al., 2007; Vujanovic et al., 2009) in addition to providing evidence that acceptance-based treatments can be effective for PTSD (Orsillo & Batten, 2005; Batten & Hayes, 2005). The current study aimed to expand previous research by using a large nonclinical sample and controlling for several relevant comorbidities. It was hypothesized that acceptance would be a significant predictor of PTSD symptom severity after controlling for relevant comorbidities. Data were collected from 4095 undergraduate students (65.7% female, 78% white/Caucasian, M age = 19.07) who reported experiencing a traumatic event and received course extra credit for completing an online questionnaire battery. Participants completed the PTSD Checklist (PCL; Weathers et al., 1993) and the Life Events Checklist (LEC; Blake et al., 1995) to determine previous traumatic event exposure and current PTSD symptom severity. Other questionnaires included the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995), and the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire – II (AAQ-II; Bond et al., 2011). A hierarchical linear regression was performed to determine the degree to which AAQ-II scores would predict PCL scores above and beyond identified significant covariates. Predictors were added into a hierarchical regression to explore the relationship between acceptance and PTSD symptom severity beyond covariates of sex, depression, anxiety, and stress. Acceptance significantly predicted PTSD symptom severity (ΔR2 = .13; p < .001) after controlling for sex (ΔR2 = .002; p < .05) and all three subscales of the DASS (ΔR2 = .27; p < .001). Results were similar to those expected and confirmed the original hypothesis. The findings are consistent with previous research and provide further support for the notion that avoidance and acceptance are both relevant considerations in the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD. Outcomes highlight the need for continuing research examining factors that could contribute to the development, maintenance, and treatment of PTSD.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Gerard, Amanda E.
Student's Degree Program(s): Psychology, Biology
Thesis Advisor: Todd Smitherman
Thesis Advisor's Department: Psychology
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Amanda Gerard
Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 19:15
Last Modified: 06 May 2015 19:15

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