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An investigation of the constructivist model of post-traumatic stress disorder

Gould, Claire; (1997) An investigation of the constructivist model of post-traumatic stress disorder. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy.), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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An investigation of the Constructivist Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was undertaken. A within subjects design was used. Participants completed symptom measures and the Life Events Repertory Grid before receiving psychological therapy for PTSD. Thirteen participants were interviewed and, given this small sample size, the results obtained should be interpreted with caution as they do not allow for a confident confirmation or rejection of the research hypotheses. Exploratory data analysis revealed that these participants seemed to be viewing the traumatic event as more distant from all other life events than non-trauma events. There was some evidence to suggest an association between this variable (distance of trauma from other life events) and participants' scores on the Intrusion subscale of the Impact of Events Scale. Cases illustrating this relationship and outliers presenting a contradiction to the association are described. Other variables (extremity of rating of the traumatic event and the designation of the construct poles used by participants) seem to suggest that the trauma was being rated more extremely than other life events for these participants. The utility of a further variable - the level of elaboration of the traumatic event within the construct system - was not demonstrated in this study. In addition three case studies are described for those participants who were interviewed post-therapy and changes in their construct systems are discussed in relation to the model. The results suggest that further exploration and testing of the potential of the Constructivist Model for informing theoretical understanding of the psychological processes involved in trauma-based disorders would be of benefit. Implications for theory and practice and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy.
Title: An investigation of the constructivist model of post-traumatic stress disorder
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098966
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