Avoidance and hyperarousal mediates the relationship between reexperiencing and dysphoria in parents of children with cancer: a longitudinal analysis
2012 (English)In: 12th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, 2012Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
There is little theoretical and empirical work regarding the mechanisms underlying the development of traumatic stress among parents of children with cancer. Such work would add to the understanding of this phenomenon and could inform intervention strategies for this group. Cognitive processing theory stipulates that avoidance mediates the relationship between intrusive thoughts about trauma and psychological distress (Creamer, et al., 1992). Evidence also suggests that hyperarousal predicts emotional numbing in response to trauma (Litz, et al., 1997; Weems, et al., 2003). The purpose of this study was to investigate the mediating role of avoidance and hyperarousal in the relationship between reexperiencing and dysphoria among parents of children on cancer treatment.
We used data from a longitudinal study with three assessment points: T1 = 2 weeks after the child´s diagnosis (n = 249), T2 = two months after the child´s diagnosis (n = 234), and T3 = four months after diagnosis (n = 203). The PTSD-Checklist Civilian was used as a measure of symptoms of traumatic stress interpreted with Simms et al. (2002) four-factor theory of traumatic stress. Two models were evaluated with mediation analysis using bias corrected bootstrap estimation of indirect effects and 95% confidence intervals (CI; Preacher and Hayes, 2008). The first model included two indicators of avoidance at T2 as mediators of the relationship between reexperiencing at T1 and dysphoria at T3, while controlling for initial levels of included variables and gender. In the second model hyperarousal at T2 was added as a mediator.
In the first model there was a significant total indirect effect from reexperiencing to dysphoria via avoidance (0.048, CI = 0.012-0.116). However, only avoidance of activities or situations reminding of the child´s disease had a significant specific indirect effect (0.044, CI = 0.009-0.097). In the second model there was a significant total indirect effect from reexperiencing to dysphoria via avoidance and hyperarousal (0.140, CI = 0.076-0.233). However, only hyperarousal contributed with a significant specific indirect effect (0.110, CI = 0.061-0.212).
The current analyses suggest that avoidance and hyperarousal both are important targets for intervention in this population.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-188242OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-188242DiVA: diva2:576956
12th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, 29 August-1 September, 2012, Budapest, Hungary