The prevalence and genesis of proximal and distal resilience in an urban trauma population 公开

Merlin, Julia Danielle (2013)

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Exposure to childhood abuse is associated with increased risk for psychopathology as an adult. Victims of childhood abuse, however, may also present as resilient. Resilience is defined as competent social functioning following a traumatic event, as well as the absence of psychopathology. Research is vague as to why victims develop resilient or psychopathological patterns of behavior following traumatic events, and what lifestyle or neurological correlates contribute to either. Adult participants were recruited as part of a larger NIMH-funded study of trauma-related risk and resilience in a highly traumatized sample arriving for care in an urban public hospital. Childhood abuse history was assessed from the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Inner-emotional components of resilience (proximal resilience) were determined from the Emotional Dysregulation Scale, a subscale of the Social Cognition and Object Relations Scale and the positive component of the Positive and Negative Adjective Scale. Social/environmental (distal resilience) components were assessed from the Life-Base Interview and from the Clinical Data Form. A modified dot-probe task examined differences between proximal and distal resilience as predictor of attention bias for happy and threatening human facial stimuli. Results show participants who self-report the most severe childhood abuse history are more likely to develop proximal resilience than distal resilience. Attention biases for threatening or happy stimuli were not significant predictors for proximal or distal resilience components in the dot-probe task. These findings suggest that disparities within resilience development directly relate to traumatic history. Future research should focus on fostering specific components of resilience to lessen psychopathological development.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

Biological contributions to resilience 5

Methods of study 17 Resilience 22 Considerations on affect 23

Behavioral contributions to resilience 24

Proximal resilience 26 Distal resilience 29 Current research 30 Methods 33 Participants 33 Procedure 34 Measures 35 Psychopathological criteria 35 Trauma history 35 Resilience criteria 36 Proximal resilience 37

Distal resilience 38

Dot-probe task 39 Dot-probe analyses 40 41 Results 41 Resilience constructs 41 Attention bias 42 Discussion 43 References 52 Tables and figures 67 Appendix 74

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