Personal mastery and community dedication as mediators of the association of trauma exposure with PTSS and PTG.

Lea Zanbar, Krzysztof Kaniasty, Navit Ben-Tzur, Rachel Dekel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: The present study, conducted after the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, was aimed to investigate 2 resources (i.e., personal mastery and community dedication) hypothesized to have a mediating effect on the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSS (posttraumatic stress symptoms) and PTG (posttraumatic growth) in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Method: Israeli civilians (N = 1,014) completed a questionnaire assessing levels of trauma exposure (the predictors), sense of mastery and community dedication (the mediators), and PTSS and PTG (the outcomes). Results: PTSS and PTG were positively related. Sense of mastery mediated the association between trauma exposure and PTSS symptoms and was negatively associated with PTSS and PTG. Community dedication was positively related to PTG and mediated the association of trauma with PTG. Conclusions: People higher in mastery may not need to search for a “silver lining” in coping with psychological consequences of trauma as they believe they are capable of handling it. Conversely, persons with higher levels of coping self-confidence may be denied the benefits of posttraumatic growth in coping with trauma. People's connections to the community in times of coping with collective upheavals may not protect them against PTSS yet community orientation may bring postevent benefits of posttraumatic growth. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) Clinical Impact Statement—Clinicians working with people exposed to ongoing violence and terror must recognize the complexity of the sense of mastery in its ability to reduce PTSS and its tendency to reduce posttraumatic growth. Professionals conducting psychosocial interventions in the context of collective upheavals should encourage individuals coping with adversities to engage in assisting other members of their community. This could lead them to gain newfound benefits of their traumatic experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-184
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • community dedication
  • exposure to trauma
  • personal mastery
  • posttraumatic distress
  • posttraumatic growth


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