Social cognitive theory of posttraumatic recovery: the role of perceived self-efficacy

Behav Res Ther. 2004 Oct;42(10):1129-48. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2003.08.008.


The present article integrates findings from diverse studies on the generalized role of perceived coping self-efficacy in recovery from different types of traumatic experiences. They include natural disasters, technological catastrophes, terrorist attacks, military combat, and sexual and criminal assaults. The various studies apply multiple controls for diverse sets of potential contributors to posttraumatic recovery. In these different multivariate analyses, perceived coping self-efficacy emerges as a focal mediator of posttraumatic recovery. Verification of its independent contribution to posttraumatic recovery across a wide range of traumas lends support to the centrality of the enabling and protective function of belief in one's capability to exercise some measure of control over traumatic adversity.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Battered Women
  • Bereavement
  • Cognition*
  • Combat Disorders / etiology
  • Combat Disorders / psychology
  • Disasters
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Psychology, Social
  • Self Concept
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Terrorism / psychology