Coping with traumatic events : a theoretical model and a study of recovery from rape
Susan Roth, Supervisor
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The study of coping with stress has been disjointed, lacking a coherent model. The present work proposes a theoretical framework for understanding coping based on approach and avoidance. Approach and avoidance are discussed in terms of the psychoanalytic concepts of defense and working through and other historical precursors as well as recent research on coping with traumatic events. Two experiments are presented. The first consists of a scale-construction study of the Cohen Roth Approach Avoidance Scale, a self- report measure of coping strategies. A revised version of this scale is proposed based on factor-analytic data from a mixed-stress sample. Experiment 2 is a study of the long-term impact of rape. Seventy-three women, who were victims of rape an average of eight years ago, were given questionnaires covering the following areas: demographics, nature of the assault, coping styles, and current level of functioning. Most of the sample was found to still be in moderate to severe distress. The relationships between outcome and demographics, situational variables, and behavior after the assault are discussed in the context of prior research in this area. Approach and avoidance strategies, measured by the revised Cohen Roth Approach Avoidance Scale, had a complex relationship with outcome. This relationship is discussed in the context of the theoretical model of coping presented in the Introduction, focusing on the difficulty women have in resolving the trauma of rape.
DescriptionThis thesis was digitized as part of a project begun in 2014 to increase the number of Duke psychology theses available online. The digitization project was spearheaded by Ciara Healy.
Published Version (Please cite this version)http://search.library.duke.edu/search?id=DUKE000747961
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