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The role of posttraumatic fear and social support in the relationship between trauma severity and posttraumatic growth among adolescent survivors of the Yaan earthquake

Authors

  • Xiao Zhou,

    1. Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
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  • Xinchun Wu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
    • Correspondence should be addressed to Xinchun Wu, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, No. 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing 100875, China. (E-mail: xcwu@bnu.edu.cn).

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  • Xin Li,

    1. Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
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  • Rui Zhen

    1. Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
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  • This study was supported by the Major Project of Beijing Social Science Fund, China (grant number: 15ZDA11). We are also grateful to the students and teachers of the participating schools for their time and support.

Abstract

Middle school students in Lushan county (N = 315) were assessed 6 months after the Yaan earthquake using a trauma severity questionnaire, a posttraumatic fear questionnaire, a social support questionnaire and a posttraumatic growth inventory to examine the effects of posttraumatic fear and social support in the relationship between trauma severity and posttraumatic growth (PTG). The results showed that posttraumatic fear mediated the relationship between trauma severity and PTG, and social support moderated the relationship between posttraumatic fear and PTG. These findings suggested that trauma severity could be positively associated with PTG in a direct way or in an indirect way through posttraumatic fear. Moreover, posttraumatic fear had a positive relation to PTG under the condition of high social support level, whereas the relation was non-significant when the level of social support was low. These results were discussed in terms of their implications for adolescents after trauma.

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