Narrative Meaning-Making, Attachment, and Health Outcome Open Access

Graci, Matthew Edward (2015)

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Understanding how people turn episodes in time into subjectively meaningful experiences can shed light on adaptive meaning-making processes. Bridging attachment theory and narrative meaning-making may elucidate how individuals distinctively narrate traumatic memories and whether such expression matters for health. Single trauma narratives from 224 college participants were coded along dimensions of attachment theory, exploration and support seeking. Attachment style, personality traits, posttraumatic growth, and posttraumatic stress were also measured. Narrative exploration and support seeking were predictors for posttraumatic growth and stress, respectively, after controlling for personality traits and attachment. Importantly, we showed attachment moderates the relationship between narrative meaning-making and health outcome. The relation between higher narrative exploration and increased growth levels was weaker for more avoidantly attached individuals, while the relation between lower narrative support seeking and increased stress levels was stronger for more anxiously attached individuals. Our findings indicate narrative processes matter for health and may be utilized to different degrees depending on the narrator's attachment style.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction...1
II. Method...9
III. Results...13
IV. Discussion...16
V. References...22
VI. Table 1...28
VII. Table 2...29
VIII. Table 3...30
IX. Figure 1...31
X. Figure 2...32

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