Experiential Avoidance and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Cognitive Mediational Model of Rape Recovery
The mediational model proposes the following causal sequence. Experiential avoidance thus refers to cognitive, emotional, and behavioral avoidance strategies. Cognitive avoidance can include such strategies as not choosing to, or not being able to, think about the event, and rationalizing or minimizing the event. Behavioral avoidance involves avoiding places and people that remind a survivor of the experience, or refusing to do anything about the situation. Cognitive Avoidance did not directly influence any other causal attributions, nor did it directly influence any cognitive schemas, memory characteristics, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Re-experiencing was the only memory characteristic to mediate the rape-PTSD relationship. Disruption in beliefs was associated with increased PTSD severity. The Future/Present Self discrepancy directly influenced PTSD. Characterological Blame played a role in both sets of pathways that influenced PTSD and was the only mediator to directly influence Beliefs, the strongest predictor of PTSD severity.