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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Recollection & Traumatic Growth: Unique Mediational Pathways Through Traumatic Stress Components


Although the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak varies from time to time, pandemic has affected larger audiences all around the world. Given the increasingly severe measures taken by the authorities, healthcare professionals have experienced positive and negative effects of the events, both personally and vicariously. The main aim is to examine how remembering influences vicarious traumatization and post-traumatic growth in a sample of healthcare workers. We proposed a multiple mediation model testing of distinct roles of stress components (hypervigilance, avoidance, intrusion) on the link between recollective features of remembering and post-traumatic growth, which allows to characterize memory-linked mechanisms underlying the effects of traumatic stress on growth. We demonstrated unique pathways by which remembering influenced traumatic growth. For the links of emotional intensity and imagery with growth, we found full mediation through avoidance and intrusion Individuals recalling events with high emotional intensity and imagery tend to experience more intrusions of trauma, which then resulted in traumatic growth. On the other hand, the opposite pattern was found for avoidance. Emotionally intense and vivid recall of events increased avoidance responses, but high avoidance reduced traumatic growth. With respect to reliving, while the pattern was similar, we found a partial mediation, showing significant role reliving has in supporting traumatic growth.

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