Cognitive-behavioral correlates of psychological symptoms among relatives of missing persons

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Samenvatting

The disappearance of a close relative is associated with an elevated risk of emotional problems. Commonly observed problems include symptoms of prolonged grief (PG), posttraumatic stress (PTS), and depression. There is a need to enhance our understanding of psychological factors underlying these problems. From the perspective of cognitive behavioural theorizing, it has been postulated that maladaptive appraisals and avoidant coping behaviour are involved in the maintenance of emotional problems following bereavement.
No studies have yet tested whether cognitive-behavioural variables are also related to distress among relatives of missing persons, i.e., those confronted with ambiguous loss. The current study, conducted in the Netherlands, aimed to do so. To this end, we gathered data from 134 relatives of missing persons. They all completed self-report measures of maladaptive appraisals and avoidant coping, and measures of PG, PTS, and depression. Multilevel analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings indicated that the cognitive-behavioural variables explained significant amounts of variance in symptom levels of PG, PTS, and
depression. Considerable associations were found, even when controlling for sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., age, gender) and characteristics of the disappearance (e.g., time since disappearance, assumed cause). These findings indicate that pervasive negative thinking and avoidant ways of coping renders relatives of missing persons prone to emotional problems. This suggests that cognitive-behavioural interventions may be fruitful in the treatment of these problems.
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 14-jun.-2017
EvenementInternational Conference on Missing Children and Adults - Abertay University, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duur: 14-jun.-201716-jun.-2017
Congresnummer: 3
https://www.abertay.ac.uk/research/society/conference-missing-children-and-adults/

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Missing Children and Adults
Land/RegioUnited Kingdom
StadDundee
Periode14/06/201716/06/2017
Internet adres

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