College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Resiliency and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Firefighter Paramedics: The Mediating Role of Depression, Anxiety, and Sleep

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2018

Keywords

PTSD

Publication Title

Traumatology

ISSN

1085-9373

Volume

24

Issue/No.

2

Abstract

Firefighter paramedics are frequently exposed to dangerous and stressful situations due to their occupational duties. Repeated exposure to traumatic events can take a cumulative toll on an individual’s physical and mental health and potentially lead to a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder. Although it is very common and expected for individuals to endorse symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder immediately following a traumatic event, a large number are able to recover with minimal changes in functioning. Resiliency has emerged as a significant construct in explaining how humans cope with adversity and trauma. Resiliency can be defined as the ability to successfully cope, adapt, or manage stressful or traumatic situations. This study identified potential psychological and behavioral health variables that mediate the relationship between resiliency and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Specifically, the primary objective of this article was to examine how depression, anxiety, and sleep mediate the relationship between resiliency and PTSS in firefighter paramedics. Participants included 125 full-time firefighter paramedics. Voluntary recruitment occurred at one South Florida fire department that comprised four fire stations. Participants were recruited for the study via their employee e-mail. Participants completed a battery of self-report questionnaires administered by clinical psychology doctoral students from a local university. Results suggest depression, anxiety, and sleep significantly mediate the relationship between resiliency and PTSS. The clinical implications of these findings and future research directions are discussed.

DOI

http://psycnet.apa.org.ezproxylocal.library.nova.edu/doi/10.1037/trm0000142

Peer Reviewed

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