Title

Executive Functioning and Resilience: Learning Outcomes During High Fidelity Training in Humanitarian Aid Workers

Author

Kyle H. Nixon

Publication Date

3-2017

Abstract

Traumatic stress and associated disorders are becoming more prevalent in humanitarian aid workers in the context of their employment. Training workshops have been offered by some aid organizations as a method to foster resilience and combat the effects of traumatic stress. In theory, these trainings promote cognitive flexibility during traumatic events, which suggests that executive functioning may help undergird resilience. The constructs of executive functioning and resilience were studied in a group of 29 humanitarian aid workers (8 women and 21 men; mean age = 40.0 years) being deployed to violent regions around the world. They completed self-report questionnaires prior to a high fidelity stress exposure training workshop where executive functioning and learning were assessed through neuropsychological measures. Results showed that aid workers with stronger executive functioning had stronger visual learning under stress and higher levels of resilience. These relationships seem to support McEwen’s (2010) theory of fronto-temporal circuitry such that stress inhibits prefrontal functions through activation of amygdala, leading to heightened emotional reactivity and poorer critical thinking.

Degree Name

PSYD in Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Amano, Stacy S.

Date Uploaded

11-21-2018

Collection Number

Psych0371E

Document Type

Dissertation

File Name

Nixon_fuller.psych_0371E_10174

Language

English

Keywords

Executive functions, Neuropsychology, Stress, Resilience, Psychic trauma, Post-traumatic stress disorder

Disciplines

Psychology

Rights

Material hosted by ProQuest subject to copyright

Comments

This was uploaded by the David Allan Hubbard Library from the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (ProQuest). If there are any mistakes in this record, please contact archives@fuller.edu.

ProQuest URL

https://search.proquest.com/docview/1916515611/7B6E8B8294FE492DPQ/1?accountid=11008

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wf_no

Embargo Period

11-21-2018

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