Identifying the links between trauma and social adjustment: implications for more effective psychotherapy with traumatized youth

Article


Ahmadi Forooshani, Sayedhabibolah, Murray, Kate, Khajavi, Nigar and Izadikhah, Zahra. 2021. "Identifying the links between trauma and social adjustment: implications for more effective psychotherapy with traumatized youth." Frontiers in Psychology. 12, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.666807
Article Title

Identifying the links between trauma and social adjustment: implications for more effective psychotherapy with traumatized youth

ERA Journal ID123048
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsAhmadi Forooshani, Sayedhabibolah (Author), Murray, Kate (Author), Khajavi, Nigar (Author) and Izadikhah, Zahra (Author)
Journal TitleFrontiers in Psychology
Journal Citation12, pp. 1-10
Article Number666807
Number of Pages10
Year2021
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISSN1664-1078
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.666807
Web Address (URL)https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.666807/full
Abstract

Background: Past research has highlighted the role of trauma in social adjustment problems, but little is known about the underlying process. This is a barrier to developing effective interventions for social adjustment of traumatized individuals. The present study addressed this research gap through a cognitive model.

Methods: A total of 604 young adults (aged 18–24; living in Australia) from different backgrounds (refugee, non-refugee immigrant, and Australian) were assessed through self-report questionnaires. The data were analyzed through path analysis and multivariate analysis of variance. Two path analyses were conducted separately for migrant (including non-refugee and refugee immigrants) and Australian groups.

Results: Analyses indicated that cognitive avoidance and social problem solving can significantly mediate the relation between trauma and social adjustment (p < 0.05). The model explaining this process statistically fit the data (e.g., NFI, TLI, CFI > 0.95). According to the model, reacting to trauma by cognitive avoidance (i.e., chronic thought suppression and over-general autobiographical memory) can disturb the cognitive capacities that are required for social problem solving. Consequently, a lack of effective social problem solving significantly hinders social adjustment. There were no significant differences among the Australian, non-refugee immigrant and refugee participants on the dependent variables. Moreover, the hypothesized links between the variables was confirmed similarly for both migrant (including refugee and non-refugee immigrants) and Australian groups.

Conclusion: The findings have important implications for interventions targeting the social adjustment of young individuals. We assert that overlooking the processes identified in this study, can hinder the improvement of social adjustment in young adults with a history of trauma. Recommendations for future research and practice are discussed.

Keywordstrauma, thought suppression, autobiographical memory, social problem solving, social adjustment
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420199. Allied health and rehabilitation science not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

Copyright © 2021 Ahmadi Forooshani, Murray, Khawaja and Izadikhah. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the
original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
School of Psychology and Counselling
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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