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Article

Post-Traumatic Growth Following Exposure to Memorial Reports of the 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake: The Moderating Roles of Self-Esteem and Long-Term PTSD Symptoms

1
Computational Communication Collaboratory, School of Journalism and Communication, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
2
School of Law, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu 611130, China
3
School of Journalism and Communication, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3239; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183239
Received: 12 August 2019 / Revised: 30 August 2019 / Accepted: 2 September 2019 / Published: 4 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing)
Media exposure during a traumatic event has been found to be associated with negative psychological consequences. However, the post-disaster role of the mass media and the possible positive psychological consequences of media exposure has received less attention. In the present study, we hypothesized that exposure to memorial media reports would lead to improved post-traumatic growth (PTG). Further, we evaluated the moderating role of self-esteem and long-term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in the relationship between media exposure and PTG. Using a cross-sectional design, we surveyed individuals (N = 1000, mean age = 45.62, 43.5% male) who were recruited from disaster-affected communities ten years after the 5.12 Wenchuan earthquake which was the largest country-level trauma in the past three decades. Results revealed that individuals with lower self-esteem or lower PTSD symptoms would have higher psychological growth with greater exposure to memorial news reports. For individuals who reported having both high levels of self-esteem and PTSD symptoms, the relationship between media exposure and PTG was negative. These findings help present trauma in a new light, particularly regarding the rapid and instantaneous new coverage of the digital age. This study also has multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and clinical implications for the fields of psychology, public health, and communications. View Full-Text
Keywords: post-traumatic growth; media exposure; memorial reports; self-esteem; PTSD symptoms; Wenchuan post-traumatic growth; media exposure; memorial reports; self-esteem; PTSD symptoms; Wenchuan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ma, Z.; Xia, Y.; Lin, Z. Post-Traumatic Growth Following Exposure to Memorial Reports of the 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake: The Moderating Roles of Self-Esteem and Long-Term PTSD Symptoms. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3239. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183239

AMA Style

Ma Z, Xia Y, Lin Z. Post-Traumatic Growth Following Exposure to Memorial Reports of the 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake: The Moderating Roles of Self-Esteem and Long-Term PTSD Symptoms. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(18):3239. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183239

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ma, Zhihao, Yiwei Xia, and Zhongxuan Lin. 2019. "Post-Traumatic Growth Following Exposure to Memorial Reports of the 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake: The Moderating Roles of Self-Esteem and Long-Term PTSD Symptoms" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 18: 3239. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183239

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