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This study explored how explanatory style and explanatory flexibility were related to each other and to symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sixty-eight college students who had endorsed DSM-IV-TR PTSD Criteria A1 and A2 on the Life Events Checklist completed the Attributional Style Questionnaire as well as self-report measures of PTSD and depression. Explanatory flexibility demonstrated independence from explanatory style. In addition, explanatory flexibility, but not explanatory style, was associated with PTSD symptoms such that lower flexibility corresponded with higher levels of PTSD. In regressional analysis, explanatory flexibility also appeared to have the ability to predict outcome above and beyond other known predictors of PTSD. These results suggest that the malleability of one’s causal explanations for adversity may be more adaptive than habitual explanatory style.
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- The Utility of Measuring Explanatory Flexibility in PTSD Research
Jeremy S. Joseph
Matt J. Gray
- Springer US