Project Title

Self-esteem Stability in Anxiety Buffer Disruption Theory

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Tyler Collette

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Terror Management Theory posits that people experience anxiety when their mortality becomes salient. Anxiety Buffer Disruption Theory (ABDT) extends this theoretical perspective to explain maladaptive responses to traumatic events. Anxiety buffers such as our cultural worldview, social support, and self-esteem help keep anxiety at bay when our mortality becomes salient during a traumatic event. However, when traumatized individuals do not respond to mortality reminders in the way that psychologically healthy individuals do (i.e., deploying their anxiety buffers in response) symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress disorder can develop.

The focus of the current study is on self-esteem as an anxiety buffer. Recently, stability has been shown to be a vital variable in psychological wellbeing. However, there is little research on the influence of an individual’s stability on self-esteem regarding ABDT. The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between anxiety, traumatic events, and self-esteem stability.

To collect information on the participants' stability of self-esteem, the Self-esteem Stability Scale, a cross-sectional direct self-assessment, and Rosenberg’s Self-esteem scale will be used. Based on responses participants will be categorized as high-stable, high-unstable, low-stable, and low-unstable.

The participant category is expected to be an indicator of variation in anxiety buffer deployment in individuals. In the group of individuals with traumatic experiences, the participants without likely PTSD should be more likely to have self-esteem that is high-stable.

Disciplines

Psychology

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, synchronously via Teams

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Self-esteem Stability in Anxiety Buffer Disruption Theory

Terror Management Theory posits that people experience anxiety when their mortality becomes salient. Anxiety Buffer Disruption Theory (ABDT) extends this theoretical perspective to explain maladaptive responses to traumatic events. Anxiety buffers such as our cultural worldview, social support, and self-esteem help keep anxiety at bay when our mortality becomes salient during a traumatic event. However, when traumatized individuals do not respond to mortality reminders in the way that psychologically healthy individuals do (i.e., deploying their anxiety buffers in response) symptoms associated with posttraumatic stress disorder can develop.

The focus of the current study is on self-esteem as an anxiety buffer. Recently, stability has been shown to be a vital variable in psychological wellbeing. However, there is little research on the influence of an individual’s stability on self-esteem regarding ABDT. The purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between anxiety, traumatic events, and self-esteem stability.

To collect information on the participants' stability of self-esteem, the Self-esteem Stability Scale, a cross-sectional direct self-assessment, and Rosenberg’s Self-esteem scale will be used. Based on responses participants will be categorized as high-stable, high-unstable, low-stable, and low-unstable.

The participant category is expected to be an indicator of variation in anxiety buffer deployment in individuals. In the group of individuals with traumatic experiences, the participants without likely PTSD should be more likely to have self-esteem that is high-stable.

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