Effects of Psychological Distress and Exposure to Terror-Related Stress on the Self in Emerging Adulthood
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We compared vulnerability and scarring models linking self-concept and psychological distress in young adulthood. Whereas the vulnerability model posits self-concept pathology leading to psychological distress, the prediction of the scarring model is inverse. We also examined the moderating role of exposure to missile attacks. Israeli young adults (N = 124), who had participated in a previous study (Schiller et al. Self and Identity 15(3)302–326, 2016), were followed up with again 15 months after the third assessment, and subsequent to a dramatic exposure to missiles. Baseline psychological distress and exposure to terror-related stress predicted impairment in six self-concept dimensions: self-criticism, self-concept clarity, generalized self-efficacy, inadequate self, hated self and reassured self. On the other hand only two variables: self-esteem and exposure to terror-related stress predicted elevated levels of psychological distress. Findings attest to the viability of self-concept scarring by psychopathology and traumatic stress during young adulthood.
KeywordsYoung adulthood Scarring hypothesis Self-concept Psychological distress Terror
This study was partially supported by the Sol Leshin Program for BGU-UCLA Academic Cooperation.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
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