What differentiates those who are able to adapt well to adverse life events (i.e., persons who are resilient) from those who are not (e.g., persons who develop post-traumatic stress symptoms)? Previous work suggests that enhanced autobiographical integration of trauma memories is associated with more severe post-traumatic stress symptoms. Extending this line of work, the present study looked at whether the integration of trauma memories, repressive coping and cognitive reactivity are related to post-traumatic stress symptomatology following negative life events among otherwise healthy young adults (N = 213). Results show that while enhanced integration of trauma memories and high levels of dissociation are related to elevated levels of post-traumatic stress, people who generally engage in repressive coping report fewer post-traumatic stress symptoms. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Key Practitioner Message:
• Enhanced integration of trauma memories is linked to increased post-traumatic stress.
• High levels of trait dissociation are related to elevated levels of post-traumatic stress symptomatology.
• A repressive coping style is associated with fewer post-traumatic stress symptoms.