“The Traumatic Life Experiences and Ontological Well Being: Insights from Narrative Psychology and Self-Memory Theory” – paper presented within WLC2021. World LUMEN Congress | May 26 – 30, Iasi, Romania by PhD. Assoc. Prof. Seçil Bal Taştan & RA. Serin İşiaçık (Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey | FMV Işık University, Istanbul, Turkey).
The previous study has indicated the crucial role of well-being on the life quality of individuals. In particular, the hedonic or eudaimonic approaches to well-being are present in the current literature. Yet, recent arguments suggest an ontological perspective to explain individuals’ perception of their own lives in a comprehensive way. By referring to past, present, future aspects of life as narrative psychology discuss when analyzing life histories, ontological well-being adopts a holistic perspective on well-being. Relatedly, the self-memory view proposes that life events are evaluated and recorded by self. Based on the narrative psychology and self-memory approach, affective life events and emotions are processed in the memory and play a role in structuring self-perceptions and psychological well-being. Thereby, the turbulent external conditions such as the pandemic, uncertain environments, and socio-economic challenges may lead to traumatic experiences for individuals. Being exposed to traumatic events and experiencing post-traumatic stress harms mental health, well-being, and work performance. In particular, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder and can affect the ontological well-being of individuals. While PTSD is a clinical term that needs the attention of mental health professionals, a non-clinical assessment of PTSD as a determining factor of ontological well-being might be important to understand attitudes and behaviors in several social contexts (e.g., organizations). This study aims to contribute to the current knowledge on ontological well-being since the relations of traumatic life experiences with ontological well-being have not been shown in the literature-especially concerning the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. Specifically, this research intends to reveal the impact of PTSD on the ontological well-being of individuals in work life. A cross-sectional study was performed throughout an online survey with a participation of 280 employees working in various private organizations. Following the statistical analyses, the findings were evaluated and both conceptual and practical discussions were provided.
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