RESEARCH PAPER
The negative and positive effects of trauma resulting from cancer – the role of personality and rumination
 
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Institute of Psychology, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
Submission date: 2016-11-30
Final revision date: 2017-02-07
Acceptance date: 2017-02-21
Online publication date: 2017-04-27
Publication date: 2017-12-01
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2017;5(4):232–243
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
Personality and cognitive engagement, including event-related rumination, play essential roles in the negative and positive outcomes of experienced trauma. The aim of the study was to establish the role of personality traits and rumination in the occurrence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and posttraumatic growth (PTG).

Participants and procedure
Sixty persons, aged 18-78 years (M = 50.40, SD = 17.74), who had experienced malignant tumours in the craniofacial area, i.e. the lips, palate, parotid gland, eye, nasopharynx, nasal cavity, middle ear and paranasal sinuses, were examined. The majority of respondents (68.30%) were women. The subjects were surveyed with the Impact of Event Scale-R (IES-R), the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), the NEO-Five Factor Personality (NEO-FFI), and the Event Related Rumination Inventory (ERRI).

Results
Both PTSD symptoms and PTG were observed in the examined group. Almost 77.00% of participants demonstrated at least a medium degree of PTSD. Twenty three percent of subjects revealed a high level of PTG. Both intrusive and deliberate ruminations were related to the presence of PTSD symptoms and PTG. No direct relationship was found between personality dimensions and the negative and positive outcomes of trauma. Neuroticism, which is related to intrusive rumination, affects PTSD symptoms. Conscientiousness, which is related to deliberate ruminations, affects posttraumatic growth.

Conclusions
Personality has an indirect impact on the negative and positive consequences of trauma via rumination over the experienced event.
 
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