J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2010 Nov;49(6):645-652.

The Effect of Positive Psychological Characteristics on Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms after Traumatic Experiences in Firefighters

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea. cksinj@yahoo.co.kr

Abstract


OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of positive psychological characteristics on posttraumatic stress symptoms after traumatic experiences.
METHODS
The subjects were 97 firefighters (83 males and 14 females), who completed the Life Events Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised Korean version. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were computed to examine the relationships among the variables, and Structural Equation Modeling was used to investigate the mediation process in the relationships among traumatic experiences, positive psychological characteristics, and posttraumatic stress.
RESULTS
The results showed that self-esteem had a mediating effect on the relationship between traumatic experiences and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Traumatic experiences affected posttraumatic stress symptoms not only directly, but also through self-esteem to posttraumatic stress symptoms. Therefore the lower firefighters' self-esteem was, the more posttraumatic stress symptoms occurred. Resilience, however, apparently had no function as mediating variable in the relationship between traumatic experiences and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Traumatic experiences and resilience each seemed to affect posttraumatic stress symptoms directly. Hence, the lower firefighters' resilience was, the more posttraumatic stress symptoms occurred.
CONCLUSION
This study showed that self-esteem had a mediating effect on the relationship between traumatic experiences and posttraumatic stress symptoms. We also found that resilience affects posttraumatic stress symptoms directly, regardless of the number of traumatic experiences. Likewise, these results showed that we should be concerned in positive psychological characteristics such as self-esteem and resilience in order to prevent posttraumatic stress symptoms.

Keyword

Self-esteem; Resilience; Posttraumatic stress symptoms; Firefighter
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