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The overlooked relationship between motivational abilities and posttraumatic stress: a review


Simmen-Janevska, Keti; Brandstätter, Veronika; Maercker, Andreas (2012). The overlooked relationship between motivational abilities and posttraumatic stress: a review. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 3:18560.

Abstract

How does traumatic stress change the ability to motivate oneself to achieve certain goals? How do motivational abilities influence the development and course of trauma sequelae? Few studies have focused on motivational constructs within posttraumatic stress research. From a trauma research perspective, it can be hypothesized that traumatic stress may contribute to motivational dysfunction. The main goal of the present article is to fill this gap in research by reviewing and discussing the existing trauma literature in terms of motivation-related concepts, such as self-efficacy, locus of control, self-esteem, and self-control/impulsivity. Fifty-four studies were reviewed, 10 of which were longitudinal studies. Approximately 20% of the reviews assessed whether motivational concepts predict posttraumatic stress, whereas only 8% examined the reverse relationship. With the exception of a few studies, motivational constructs seem to predict posttraumatic stress over the life span. The strongest relationships were reported for self-efficacy, followed by locus of control and self-esteem and, lastly, impulsivity/self-control. Overall, the findings of this review indicate that there is a lack of research investigating motivational factors as outcome variables following traumatic experiences. Furthermore, the need for longitudinal studies and studies with older adults is noted.

Abstract

How does traumatic stress change the ability to motivate oneself to achieve certain goals? How do motivational abilities influence the development and course of trauma sequelae? Few studies have focused on motivational constructs within posttraumatic stress research. From a trauma research perspective, it can be hypothesized that traumatic stress may contribute to motivational dysfunction. The main goal of the present article is to fill this gap in research by reviewing and discussing the existing trauma literature in terms of motivation-related concepts, such as self-efficacy, locus of control, self-esteem, and self-control/impulsivity. Fifty-four studies were reviewed, 10 of which were longitudinal studies. Approximately 20% of the reviews assessed whether motivational concepts predict posttraumatic stress, whereas only 8% examined the reverse relationship. With the exception of a few studies, motivational constructs seem to predict posttraumatic stress over the life span. The strongest relationships were reported for self-efficacy, followed by locus of control and self-esteem and, lastly, impulsivity/self-control. Overall, the findings of this review indicate that there is a lack of research investigating motivational factors as outcome variables following traumatic experiences. Furthermore, the need for longitudinal studies and studies with older adults is noted.

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5 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPSYCH Erstautor
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:27 Nov 2012 10:42
Last Modified:05 Aug 2016 08:19
Publisher:Co-Action Publishing
Series Name:European Journal of Psychotraumatology
ISSN:2000-8066
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v3i0.18560
PubMed ID:23125909

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