The role of ruminations in the relation between personality and positive posttraumatic changes resulting from struggling with cancer
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Submission date: 2017-10-08
Final revision date: 2018-07-02
Acceptance date: 2018-07-03
Online publication date: 2018-07-23
Publication date: 2018-07-27
Health Psychology Report 2018;6(4):296-306
Cognitive activity, including event-related ruminations, and personality features play an essential role in the occurrence of positive outcomes of experienced trauma. The study investigated the role of ruminations, treated both in terms of stable disposition (trait-like rumination), and about the event, in the relationship between personality dimensions and posttraumatic growth (PTG).

Participants and procedure:
Sixty people, aged 18-78 years (M = 50.40, SD = 17.74), who had experienced malignant tumours in the craniofacial area were examined. The majority of respondents (68.30%) were women. The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), the NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), the Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire (RRQ), and the Event Related Rumination Inventory (ERRI) were used in the study.

Conscientiousness is positively and neuroticism is negatively related to PTG. Reflection and both types of ruminations about the experienced event, i.e. intrusive and deliberate, are positively associated with positive posttraumatic changes. The multiple mediation analysis (double mediation model) indicated that intrusive ruminations about the experienced event and reflection (reflective rumination), treated in terms of disposition, play the role of suppressors in the relation between neuroticism and PTG. Neuroticism lowers the ability to perceive the positive effects of experienced trauma, but promotes intrusive ruminating, which, in combination with reflection, increases the level of PTG.

Ruminations seem to play a more important role in occurrence of PTG than personality. Ruminations about the experienced situation are more significant than trait-like rumination for the occurrence of positive posttraumatic changes.

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