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Relationships between firefighters’ post-event distress and growth at different times after distressing incidents

Relationships between firefighters’ post-event distress and growth at different times after distressing incidents

Knuth, Daniela, Kehl, Doris, Holubová, Markéta, Hulse, Lynn ORCID: 0000-0001-5582-3520 and Schmidt, Silke (2014) Relationships between firefighters’ post-event distress and growth at different times after distressing incidents. Traumatology: An International Journal, 20 (4). pp. 253-261. ISSN 1534-7656 (Print), 1085-9373 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1037/h0099832)

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Abstract

As a consequence of exposure to distressing work-related incidents, firefighters may experience negative symptomatic responses, that is, postevent distress. As well as negative outcomes, empirical studies have documented the experience of growth, that is, positive psychological changes, among first responders after encountering distressing work-related incidents. Postevent distress and growth may evolve independently at different times following a distressing event yet are likely to influence each other. In the present study the impact of distressing work-related incidents on firefighters was investigated, examining the relationship (linear, quadratic, and cubic) between postevent distress and growth. To see what this relationship looked like in the immediate and in the more distant aftermath of distressing incidents, participants were split into 2 groups: those with more recent exposure (i.e., their distressing incident occurred within the past 12 months) and those with more distant exposure (i.e., their distressing incident occurred 13–24 months ago). A sample of 927 firefighters from 8 predominantly European countries completed the Impact of Event Scale–Revised and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory–Short Form with reference to an incident they perceived to be most stressful. Time since this incident occurred was not significantly associated with growth, but was negatively associated with postevent distress. The relationship between postevent distress and growth at different times was first explored using the loess statistical method. Subsequent multivariate regression analyses produced evidence of both linear and curvilinear relationships between postevent distress and growth. Nevertheless, the cubic model appeared to be the best fit of the data for recent distressing incidents and the quadratic model for more distant distressing incidents. The regression results were consistent with the results of the loess smoothing. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This journal is a publication of the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record
Uncontrolled Keywords: PSTD, trauma, firefighters
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Mathematical Sciences
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2019 10:39
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/12280

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