PTSD Symptoms and Dominant Emotional Response to a Traumatic Event: An Examination of DSM-IV Criterion A2

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To qualify for a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder the DSM-IV requires that individuals report dominant emotions of fear, helplessness, and horror during the trauma. Despite this stipulation, traumatic events can elicit a myriad of emotions other than fear such as anger, guilt or shame, sadness, and numbing. The present study examined which emotional reactions to a stressful event in a college student sample are associated with the highest levels of PTSD symptoms. Results suggest mixed support for the DSM-IV criteria. Although participants who experienced a dominant emotion of fear reported high PTSD symptomatology, participants who experienced anger, disgust-related emotions, ... continued below

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Valentine, Lisa M. August 2011.

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This thesis is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 911 times , with 9 in the last month . More information about this thesis can be viewed below.

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  • Valentine, Lisa M.

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To qualify for a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder the DSM-IV requires that individuals report dominant emotions of fear, helplessness, and horror during the trauma. Despite this stipulation, traumatic events can elicit a myriad of emotions other than fear such as anger, guilt or shame, sadness, and numbing. The present study examined which emotional reactions to a stressful event in a college student sample are associated with the highest levels of PTSD symptoms. Results suggest mixed support for the DSM-IV criteria. Although participants who experienced a dominant emotion of fear reported high PTSD symptomatology, participants who experienced anger, disgust-related emotions, and sadness reported PTSD symptoms of equivalent severity. Participants also reported experiencing other emotions more frequently than they reported experiencing fear. Coping style was unrelated to dominant emotion experienced; however, dysfunctional coping was associated with worse outcomes in terms of PTSD symptoms. These results have diagnostic and treatment limitations.

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  • August 2011

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  • May 17, 2012, 9:47 p.m.

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  • Jan. 16, 2014, 2:12 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Valentine, Lisa M. PTSD Symptoms and Dominant Emotional Response to a Traumatic Event: An Examination of DSM-IV Criterion A2, thesis, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84294/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .