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A Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy Perspective on the Nature and Structure of Posttraumatic Stress Responses: The Mediating and Moderating Effects of Rational and Irrational Beliefs.

Hyland, Philip (2014) A Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy Perspective on the Nature and Structure of Posttraumatic Stress Responses: The Mediating and Moderating Effects of Rational and Irrational Beliefs. Doctoral thesis, University of Ulster.

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Abstract

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT: Ellis, 2001) represents the original
cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) model of psychopathology. Although there is
much empirical support for the basic theory of REBT (see David, Lynn, & Ellis, 2010),
the model has never been tested in the context of posttraumatic stress responses to
adverse life events.
The first empirical chapter of the thesis investigated the construct validity of the
Attitudes and Belief Scale 2 (ABS-2: DiGiuseppe, Leaf, Exner, & Robin, 1988). This
chapter employed traditional confirmatory factor analysis and confirmatory bifactor
modelling to investigate the psychometric properties of the ABS-2. Results indicated
that a bifactoral model conceptualisation was found to offer an adequate representation
of the underlying factor structure of the scale. Based on these results, an abbreviated
version of the ABS-2 with superior psychometric properties was thus constructed.
In the second empirical chapter confirmatory bifactor modelling and composite
reliability analysis were employed to investigate the psychometric properties of the
Profile of Emotional Distress (PED: Opris & Macavei, 2007). The PED was designed to
capture the qualitative distinction between dysfunctional emotions, as predicted by
REBT theory. Results indicated that the PED does not capture the distinction between
functional and dysfunctional negative emotions, however a bifactor model inclusive of a
single general distress factor, and four method factors was found to be an acceptable fit
of the data.
The third empirical chapter utilised structural equation modelling to test the
organisation of the irrational beliefs in the prediction of posttraumatic stress responses.
A model consistent with the predictions of REBT theory was found to be a good fit of
the data and explained a large percentage of variance in each symptom class of
posttraumatic stress.
The fourth empirical chapter provided the first piece of empirical evidence that
generalised irrational beliefs impact upon posttraumatic stress symptoms via traumaspecific
irrational beliefs; a frequently hypothesised relationship which had hitherto remained untested.
Results of structural equation modelling offered support for this core
hypothesis.
Subsequently, the fifth empirical chapter investigated the impact of traumaspecific
irrational beliefs in the prediction of reporting posttraumatic stress symptoms
while controlling for a number of important sociodemographic factors. Binary logistic
regression analysis was employed and found that three irrational belief process
positively predicted belong to the strongly symptomatic group.
Finally, the sixth empirical chapter employed sequential moderated multiple
regression analysis to determine if rational beliefs could positively moderate the impact
of irrational beliefs of posttraumatic stress symptoms. Rational beliefs were found to
exert a negative, direct effect on posttraumatic stress symptoms, and to lessen the
impact of irrational beliefs on posttraumatic stress responses.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Stress (Psychology)
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Tim Lawless
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2014 12:03
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2014 12:07
URI: http://trap.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/1709

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