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Coping with Severe, Acute Psychological Trauma: the Killeen Shooting Incident

Description: The present study examined the relationship between coping and psychological and psychosomatic distress of 25 individuals who experienced the same severe, acute traumatic event: the violent shooting that killed 23 people and severely injured 20 more in Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, on October 16, 1991. Distress was assessed by one-month pre-event and post-event scores on the SCL-90R, Psychosomatic Questionnaire, and by a Life Event Questionnaire score for the year before the incident. Coping was measured by a modified version of the Ways of Coping Scale (Folkman et al., 1986) and Response Style Questionnaire (Nolen-Hoeksema & Morrow, 1991). All post-event distress scores, except the Psychosomatic score, significantly increased over their corresponding pre-event scores regardless of gender. Although female distress scores were consistently higher than male scores, gender was predictive of post-event distress only for the SCL-90R Anxiety, Somatization, and Global Severity Index scales. The only pre-event score found to be predictive of post-event distress was the Psychosomatic scale. Regression analysis, with demographic and pre-event variables controlled, found a significant positive relationship between Escape/Avoidance coping and one-month post-event levels of Anxiety and Psychosomatic distress. Findings were discussed in the context of the process-oriented stress-illness model and were compared to current disaster and crime victimization literature. Implications for helping professionals, methodological issues, and implications for future research were explored.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Forté, Beverly K.

Post-Traumatic Symptomatology in the Luby's Shooting

Description: The role of exposure to a human-made disaster and the subsequent development of post-traumatic stress reactions were examined. Subjects included 49 males and 30 females who were variously exposed to the Luby's shooting incident in Killeen, Texas in October of 1991. Post-traumatic stress symptomatology was measured by the SCL-90R. Exposure was operationalized by using a scenario-rating scheme with independent raters estimating each subject's level of exposure. A regression and commonality analysis revealed that exposure is an important predictor in post-traumatic symptomatology. Premorbid functioning and gender were also found to play important roles, with females expressing higher levels of symptomatology.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Adams, Pam, 1964-

PTSD in Women following a Disaster: the Effects of Social Support and Gender Differences

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine and compare individuals that had survived a single incidence trauma, the Luby's massacre in Killeen, Texas. Participants answered questions regarding various facets of social support following the trauma, and were also screened for a diagnosis of PTSD. Participants' level of symptoms, specifically depression, anxiety, and phobic anxiety was measured over time with the SCL-90-R. The results of this study indicate that, while women initially experience a higher level of depression and phobic anxiety, there is no gender difference in rate of symptom change over time. This study also found that women were significantly higher than men on desirability, utilization and usefulness of social support. Of the target symptoms, however, only depression correlated with any facet of social support, specifically, desirability. Finally, this study questioned whether individuals would share more similarities with others based on gender or diagnosis. It is suggested by the current data that diagnosis is the better indicator of similarity.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Direiter, Diana C. (Diana Charity)