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Title: Life after bushfire: Post-traumatic stress, coping and post-traumatic growth
Contributor(s): Hooper, Jackie (author); Magor-Blatch, Lynne (author); Bhullar, Navjot  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2018
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Introduction Research suggests that post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms are common after the experience of bushfire. However, the ways in which individuals cope with, positively grow from, and find benefit in the adverse circumstances of bushfire in Australia has not been adequately explored. The main objective of this study is to assess the relationship between PTS, coping strategies and posttraumatic growth, in a sample of Australian community members affected by a bushfire event. Methods Sixty-five participants (mean age 40.66 years, SD=13.57), who had previously experienced a bushfire event in Australia, responded to an anonymous online survey. Results Results indicated that greater PTS was associated with the use of all coping strategies, as well as higher levels of post-traumatic growth. The use of coping strategies was associated with higher levels of post-traumatic growth. Hierarchical regression analyses found that post-traumatic growth and avoidant coping explained significant amounts of unique variance in PTS, whereas PTS and emotion-focussed coping explained significant amounts of unique variance in post-traumatic growth. Conclusion In communities that are seasonally threatened by bushfires, our findings suggest that not only are post-disaster stress reduction interventions required, but so too are preparedness programs that include strategies for promoting growth and positive adaptation. It is suggested further research should address implications for strength-based preparedness and recovery programs in bushfire prone areas.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 15(3), p. 1-10
Publisher: Paramedics Australasia
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 2202-7270
Field of Research (FOR): 170113 Social and Community Psychology
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology

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