Theory & Research

The content within the My Disaster Recovery website is designed to empower users through empirically supported methods based in Social Cognitive Theory. Research shows that a person’s beliefs about his/her ability to cope influences the amount of distress that person experiences after a disaster. The My Disaster Recovery site utilizes information and interactive components to promote awareness about trauma, build positive coping skills, and increase people’s sense of control over their own recovery. 

Below is a list of related articles and books on the research and empirical evidence that support the content within this site.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The Exercise of control. New York, Freeman.

Benight, C. C., & Bandura, A. (2004). Social cognitive theory of posttraumatic recovery: The role of perceived self-efficacy. Behavior Research and Therapy, 42, 1129-1148.

Benight, C. C., Cieslak, R., Molton, I. R., & Johnson, L. E. (2008). Self-evaluative appraisals of coping capability and posttraumatic distress following motor vehicle accidents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76, 677-685.

Benight, C. C., & Harper, M. L. (2002). Coping self-efficacy perceptions as a mediator between acute stress response and long-term distress following natural disasters. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 15, 177-186.

Benight, C. C., Ruzek, J. I., & Waldrep, E. (2008). Internet interventions for traumatic stress: A review and theoretically-based example. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 21, 513 – 520.

Benight, C. C., Swift, E., Sanger, J., Smith, A., & Zeppelin, D. (1999). Coping self-efficacy as a mediator of distress following a natural disaster.  Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29, 2443-2464.

Cieslak, R., Benight, C. C., & Lehman, V. C. (2008). Coping self-efficacy mediates the effects of negative cognitions on posttraumatic distress. Behavior Research and Therapy, 46, 788-798.

Luszczynska, A., Benight, C. C., & Cieslak, R. (2009). self-efficacy and health-related outcomes of collective trauma. European Psychologist, 14, 51-62.

For more sources, please see the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Trauma Health and Hazards Center website: