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PSYC*3690 Article 3.pdf

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3690
Benjamin Gottlieb

Article #: 3 Title: Cumulative Adversity and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Evidence From a Diverse Community Sample of Young Adults Goals - addresses the question of the extent to which prior stressful experiences, whether or not their officially quality as traumatic, increase the risk that a subsequent traumatic experience will result in PTSD - Hypothesis: social stress plays a casual role in PTSD that goes well beyond the focal traumatic experience Who Benefits? (Target Audience) - young adults Universal, Selective, or Indicated - universal - the entire population of young adults were tested, not specific groups Primary, Secondary, Tertiary - primary - nobody had been diagnosed or shown risk factors for PTSD, goal was to reduce incidence Risk and Protective Factors - risk = environmental factors in adolescents, rape/sexual abuse, being a woman, prior exposure to trauma Measures of Data Collection (what is measured, # of times, and how) - public school students had participated in an earlier 3-wave investigation - wave 1 was 6th/7th grade, wave 2 was 7th/8th grade, and wave 3 was 8th/9th grade - data on lifetime occurrence of adversities and PTSD were obtained through computer- assisted personal interviews - participants were asked whether each of 41 adverse life events had occurred and the number of times it happened and how old they were - diagnostic assessment of PTSD was based on the instrument employed in the National Comorbidity Survey, model was minimized slightly to minimize false negatives Intervention Strategies? - N/A Results (what did the program accomplish) - results confirm the previous findings that traumatic experience beyond the focal event increase risk for the onset of PTSD and expand the range of stressors - results are consistent with the hypothesis that the role of stress in the development of PTSD extends well beyond that of a single intensely violent or distressing event of the sort defined in the DSM - the DSM belief is that only certain kinds of stressors matter for PTSD - this study finds that this is not true - events that few would define as either immediate or traumatic are significant for risk - the accumulation of objectively nonviolent experiences such as parental divorce and failing a grade in school, along with witnessing violence, represent significant distal predictors of PTSD - among proximal adversities, life traumas and death events have the strongest impact - one factor that distinguishes those who develop PTSD following a traumatic event from those who do not is the personʼs history of exposure to prior adversities Limitations - single-structured interview that does not involve clinical judgment - because the data were obtained at one point in time, lifetime estimates of both exposure to adversity and the occurrence of PTSD rely entirely on recall Saturday, Jan 19, 2012 3. Cumulative Adversity and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Evidence From a Diverse Community Sample of Young Adults - authors hypothesized that a history of adversities, whether objectively traumatic or not, predicts risk for 1st onset of PTSD - results reveals that risk is associated with retrospectively reported adverse experiences that occurred in years prior to the focal traumatic event - PTSD requires exposure to a traumatic event such as combat, rape, natural disaster, witnessed violence or sexual abuse - the event is the focus of the distressing reexperiences and the intense feelings of fear, horror
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