Portions of this article were presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Washington, DC, 2007.
Trauma coping strategies and psychological distress: A meta-analysis†
Article first published online: 21 DEC 2007
Copyright © 2007 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Journal of Traumatic Stress
Volume 20, Issue 6, pages 977–988, December 2007
How to Cite
Littleton, H., Horsley, S., John, S. and Nelson, D. V. (2007), Trauma coping strategies and psychological distress: A meta-analysis. J. Traum. Stress, 20: 977–988. doi: 10.1002/jts.20276
- Issue published online: 21 DEC 2007
- Article first published online: 21 DEC 2007
The identification of adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies following traumatic events has been the subject of much scientific inquiry. The current study sought through meta-analysis to evaluate the relationship between the use of approach and avoidance strategies (both problem-focused and emotion/cognitive focused) following trauma and psychological distress. Thirty-nine studies of coping following two types of traumatic events (interpersonal violence and severe injury) were retained in the meta-analysis. There was a consistent association between avoidance coping and distress, overall r = .37, but no association between approach coping and distress, overall r = −.03, but some important moderators existed. Implications of the results for future research regarding coping and trauma recovery are discussed.