Role of Islamic appraisals, trauma-related appraisals, and religious coping in the posttraumatic adjustment of Muslim trauma survivors

Azi Berzengi, Latef Berzenji, Aladdin Kadim, Falah Mustafa, Laura Jobson
Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy 2017, 9 (2): 189-197

OBJECTIVE: This research investigated the role of Islamic appraisals, trauma-related appraisals, and religious coping in Muslim trauma survivors.

METHOD: We report 2 studies of Muslim trauma survivors with and without posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) living in the United Kingdom (Study 1) and a sample of Muslim trauma survivors living in Northern Iraq (Study 2). In both studies participants completed the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, Brief Religious Coping Scale, Islamic Appraisal Questionnaire, and Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory in Arabic.

RESULTS: First, it was found that negative religious coping differentiated between trauma survivors with and without PTSD (Study 1) and was significantly correlated with PTSD symptoms (Study 2). Second, negative Islamic appraisals were significantly associated with greater PTSD symptoms whereas positive Islamic appraisals were significantly associated with fewer PTSD symptoms (Study 2). Third, negative trauma-related appraisals correlated significantly with, and uniquely predicted, PTSD symptoms (Study 2). Finally, trauma-related appraisals were found to mediate the relationship between negative Islamic appraisals and negative religious coping and PTSD symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the theoretical emphasis on trauma-related cognitions may also be applicable to our understanding of PTSD in Muslim trauma survivors. However, for this population, trauma-related appraisals and subsequent coping strategies may be influenced by Islamic beliefs and values. Clinically, our findings suggest that addressing PTSD symptoms in Muslim trauma survivors may require clinicians to consider the impact of trauma on the survivor's religious appraisals and relationship with God. (PsycINFO Database Record


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