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Does Perceived Social Support Moderate the Relationship Between Cumulative Trauma and Psychological Distress?

Turk, Rachel K. and Lee, Nicholas A. and Riding-Malon, Ruth and Caughron, Jared (2019) Does Perceived Social Support Moderate the Relationship Between Cumulative Trauma and Psychological Distress? [Dissertation]

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Abstract

Upwards of 80% of individuals encounter some type of trauma in childhood or adolescence and once individuals experience one type of trauma they are more likely to have more experiences of trauma (Turner, Finkelhor, & Ormrod, 2010), which results in higher levels of psychological distress. Numerous factors have been identified as potentially protective in mitigating negative outcomes of traumatic experiences, but in particular perceived social support is a common protective factor. Previously, literature focused on a single, specific types of trauma, so the purpose of this study is to fill the gap by exploring the relationship between cumulative trauma, perceived social support, and psychological distress. It was hypothesized that higher levels of cumulative trauma would result in higher levels of psychological distress, and higher levels of perceived social support would result in lower levels of psychological distress. Additionally, it was hypothesized that perceived social support would be a moderator with higher levels of perceived social support being related to less psychological distress. Data was collected through an online survey system including 319 participants from a rural southeast university in the United States. The Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ; Finkelhor et al., 2005), the Life Events Checklist (LEC; Blake et al., 1995), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS; Zimet et al., 1988), and the Trauma Symptom Checklist- 40 (TSC-40; Elliott & Briere, 1992) were administered; regression analyses were run to determine that both main effect hypotheses and the interaction effect hypothesis were significant. Results suggest that higher levels of cumulative trauma result in higher levels of psychological distress and that higher levels of perceived social support result in lower levels of psychological distress. Last, perceived social support was found to be a significant moderator for cumulative trauma and psychological distress. These findings initiate many meaningful clinical implications.

Item Type: Dissertation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Rachel K. Turk
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 20:18
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2020 20:18
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/543

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