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Elaboration and Content Analysis of Conceptual Structure in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Description: Three recent studies attempted to substantiate Sewell and Cromwell's (1990) theory of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) based on personal construct theory (Kelly, 1955). One crucial aspect of the model that was tested in each of the studies is "elaboration," which is the process of bringing more of a person's repertoire of understanding (constructions) to a certain experience to give it meaning. Elaboration is representative of whether or not the individual is using an integrated set of constructs to deal with a traumatic event. A two-part study (1) reanalyzed existing data to assist in understanding discrepancies in past findings, and (2) content analyzed constructs given by subjects in all three studies. Findings concerning elaboration remained somewhat discrepant but suggested possible differences when investigating the emergent versus submerged poles of constructs.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Moes-Williams, Amy J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Differences between Acknowledged and Unacknowledged Rape: Occurrence of PTSD

Description: This study examined the relation between level of rape acknowledgement and levels of PTSD symptoms reported in female college students. Subjects were administered the Sexual Experiences Survey (SES), the PTSD Interview, and a demographics questionnaire. Subjects were then grouped into the following categories based on their responses to the SES: reported rape victims, acknowledged rape victims, unacknowledged rape victims, and a control group of non-rape subjects. Small sample analyses did not reveal the expected linear relation between the two variables. Only the acknowledged group showed greater PTSD symptoms. The unacknowledged and control groups did not significantly differ on overall PTSD symptom severity, or on any cluster of PTSD symptoms. Naturalistic selection factors are discussed that could have affected the outcome of the study.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Ovaert, Lynda B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Police officers: Perception of self, occupational role, and occupational events.

Description: This study examined police officers' perceptions of self, occupational role and their relation to perceived stress and posttraumatic stress symptomology. Self-report measures for the study variables were completed by 101 police officers. Hypotheses predicted that perception of self and role would be associated with perception of stress and that perception of the stress would mediate PTSD symptomology. Neuroticism, job quality and general job satisfaction were the main predictors of stress. Stress levels mediated between 1) job quality and the symptoms of anxious arousal and impaired self-reference; 2) general job satisfaction and the symptoms of defensive avoidance and dissociation; and 3) neuroticism and the symptom of defensive avoidance. This implies that police officers' job quality, their feelings of general job satisfaction, and low levels of neuroticism are important in alleviating stress and subsequent psychological sequela.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Piper, Lynn J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mediational Roles of Personality Factors and Vengeful Rumination in the Development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Description: Considerable research has demonstrated a link between thoughts of revenge, or vengeful rumination, and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, particularly in situations involving interpersonal trauma. Personality factors have been related to both vengefulness and PTSD. No study to date has simultaneously examined the unique contributions of vengefulness and personality factors in the development of PTSD symptoms. Therefore, the present study addressed these questions in an inpatient sample by comparing contributions of the Big Five personality factors and vengeful rumination to the development of PTSD symptoms through correlation, hierarchical regression, and omnibus regression analyses. Results showed that Neuroticism predicted PTSD symptoms better than other personality factors, that Neuroticism and Agreeableness predicted vengeful rumination in opposite directions, and that personality factors and vengeful rumination each added unique variance in the prediction of PTSD symptoms. Future directions and implications are discussed.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Crostley, Jeremy T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Implementation of a Therapy Group for Wives of Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Development and Preliminary Outcomes

Description: The purpose of this study was to develop a manualized therapy group for wives or significant others of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing wives' psychological symptoms. A second aim of the study was to determine if women's involvement in the wives group resulted in decreases in their husbands' PTSD symptoms. Women recruited for the study were administered pre-test measures during a screening session. They then participated in a 9-session manualized therapy group designed by the researcher that included psychoeducational, process, and support components. Examples of group topics included psychoeducation regarding PTSD, assertiveness and communication, intimacy, self-care, and stress management. After completing the group sessions, participants were asked to complete post-test measures. Other factors explored in this study included marital satisfaction, perceived social support, general satisfaction with the group, and demographic variables. Results indicated that wives who participated in the group treatment exhibited significant decreases in secondary stress symptoms and increases in marital satisfaction from pre-test to post-test. The majority of participants also reported high levels of satisfaction with the group process. Therefore, it appears that the group protocol presented in this study could be a useful tool in the treatment of wives of veterans with PTSD. The results of this study have potential implications regarding the clinical treatment of families of veterans with PTSD and the development of future programs within the VA system.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Reck-Gordy, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dissociation and post-traumatic stress disorder in women who have experienced trauma and sexual assault

Description: the relation between dissociative symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was investigated in women who had experienced trauma or sexual assault. Subjects were administered the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), the Sexual Experiences Scale (SES), and the PTSD Interview (PTSD-I).
Date: August 1994
Creator: Baldwin, Carol L. (Carol Louise)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effectiveness of Relational Equine-Partnered Counseling (REPC) on Reduction of Symptoms of PTSD in Military Veterans: a Single Case Design

Description: There is currently a crisis in military veteran mental health care. At 5-30% of veterans receive a PTSD diagnosis. Veterans face a large gap that exists in accessing and receiving high quality care. One intervention that is becoming more popular is equine assisted counseling (EAC). The purpose of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of Relational Equine-Partnered Counseling (REPC) in reducing symptoms of PTSD in military veterans. I also examined specific PTSD symptom clusters including intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. The present study utilized a single-case design consisting of a baseline phase, intervention phase, and post-intervention phase. Participants included four military veterans presenting for war zone-related PTSD: four males and one female, aged 32-67 years, two White/European non-Hispanic, one African American non-Hispanic, and one mixed ethnicity. Symptoms were assessed weekly using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale and the PTSD Checklist (PCL-5). The data were analyzed by visual analysis and statistical effect size. The results were mixed across the participants. All participants experienced decreased means between the baseline and intervention phases. However, interpretation of the results indicated that the intervention was effective in some areas for some of the participants. All participants reported that the intervention was beneficial in targeting specific symptoms. Overall, the results indicated that REPC may have some benefit in reducing distress related to PTSD. More research is needed to further explore the effectiveness of REPC on the reduction of PTSD-related distress.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Sheade, Hallie E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Complex PTSD As a Less Pejorative Label: Is the Proposed Diagnosis Less Stigmatizing Than BPD?

Description: Clinicians’ attitudes and behaviors toward patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are affected by the label’s stigma. Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) was proposed as a comprehensive and less stigmatizing diagnostic category for clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. Given considerable similarities across both disorders’ diagnostic criteria, the CPTSD framework holds promise as a means to improve therapists’ attitudes towards clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. However, this quality of CPTSD had not yet been examined empirically. Using vignettes in a between-subjects experimental design, this study investigated whether CPTSD is a less stigmatizing label than BPD for trauma survivors. Participants were 322 practicing psychotherapists. Evidence of BPD stigma was found, as was an affinity for CPTSD. Results generally supported CPTSD as a less stigmatizing label than BPD; therapists presented with a CPTSD-labeled vignette were somewhat less likely to blame the client for her symptomatic behavior and expected slightly stronger working alliance with the client than therapists presented with the BPD-labeled vignette. However, therapists’ agreement with the BPD diagnosis and theoretical orientation were found to be more salient than diagnostic label in affecting concepts related to the stigmatization of BPD clients. Additionally, familiarity with CPTSD was related to more favorable attitudes toward the client and her course of treatment. Regardless of CPTSD’s recognition as a formal diagnosis, education about the construct is widely recommended for therapists.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Miller, Susannah Catherine
Partner: UNT Libraries

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)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of the Trauma Play Scale: Comparison of Children Manifesting a History of Interpersonal Trauma with a Normative Sample.

Description: Experts in traumatology have postulated traumatized children play differently than non-traumatized children. These differences are called posttraumatic play and include the behaviors of intense play, repetitive play, play disruption, avoidant play and negative affect. The purpose of this study is the continued development of the Trauma Play Scale through the addition of a normative sample. The Trauma Play Scale is an observation-based instrument designed to distinguish the play behaviors of children in play therapy with a history of interpersonal trauma when compared to non-traumatized children. The present study compares two samples of children. One group (n=6) currently in play therapy with a history of interpersonal trauma and another group (n=7) considered normally developing (cognitively, emotionally, socially, and physically) by their parents with no known history of interpersonal trauma. Trained raters blind to the trauma history of the children rated a series of eight consecutive video-recorded play therapy sessions for each participant. One-way analysis of variance statistics, including effect sizes were compute to determine the discriminant validity of the Trauma Play Scale. Traumatized children scored significantly higher on the Trauma Play Scale than non-traumatized children on all domains of the scale as well as the overall Average Trauma Play Scale score. Large effect sizes indicated strong relationships between group membership (trauma history versus normally developing) and scores on the Trauma Play Scale.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Myers, Charles Edwin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: DOD Needs to Identify the Factors Its Providers Use to Make Mental Health Evaluation Referrals for Servicemembers

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Many servicemembers supporting Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) have engaged in intense and prolonged combat, which research has shown to be strongly associated with the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). GAO, in response to the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, (1) describes DOD's extended health care benefit and VA's health care services for OEF/OIF veterans; (2) analyzes DOD data to determine the number of OEF/OIF servicemembers who may be at risk for PTSD and the number referred for further mental health evaluations; and (3) examines whether DOD can provide reasonable assurance that OEF/OIF servicemembers who need further mental health evaluations receive referrals."
Date: May 11, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Guilt and Shame as They Relate to Combat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): An Analysis of Trauma Content And Resulting Symptomatology

Description: This study began testing the Sewell and Williams (in press) model that differing trauma types yield differing presentations in social versus event processing domains. Other hypotheses explored trauma type with levels of guilt, and shame-proneness with anxiety. Volunteers were 44 male combat veterans being treated for PTSD. Data analyses determined whether trauma type related to guilt and perceived social support and whether shame-proneness related to levels of anxiety. High shame persons may process anxiety and social support differently than low shame persons. Results can assist professionals understand how a person's functioning is affected by certain types of trauma. Future research should focus on increasing social support for persons who have experienced trauma.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Taber, Iris
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conceptual Structure of HIV+ Women With PTSD: Trauma Construct Elaboration

Description: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can result in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as events related to illness act as traumatic stressors. This study tested some basic hypotheses of Sewell and Cromwell's personal construct model of PTSD in HIV+ women both with and without diagnoses of PTSD. Trauma-related constructs of HIV+ women with PTSD with HIV+ non-PTSD controls at varying stages of illness were compared. The elaboration, rankings, and valence of trauma-related constructs were examined using the Life Events Repertory Grid (LERG) procedure. Findings provided evidence that a clinical diagnosis of PTSD in women was not associated with the degree of construct elaboration. These findings may imply a qualitative difference in cognitive processing of social stressors and violent stressors.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Jones, Deborah (Deborah Lynne), 1958-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Prevalence and Predictors of Perinatal Mental Health Outcomes

Description: Prior research has identified risk factors that may contribute to the development of maternal stress reactions following childbirth. Specifically, situational factors (e.g., factors associated with childbirth), individual factors, and personality factors, have been explored in a multitude of prior studies. The current study sought to build upon this literature by examining both risk and resilience in a sample of both mothers and fathers via a prospective longitudinal investigation. Baseline assessment of expectant parents occurred prior to the birth of their child, with additional assessment at approximately 1, 6, and 9 weeks post-childbirth. A total of 50 participants completed all four of these assessments. Results indicated approximately 20% (n = 10) of participants endorsed moderate or greater stress symptoms after birth, while 22% (n = 11) also exhibited symptoms of moderate or greater depressive symptoms. Stress reactions were assessed with the Perinatal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Questionnaire (PPQ); validity analyses indicated the PPQ had significantly stronger correlations with convergent measures than discriminant measures. Additionally, participants were randomized into one of two post-delivery study arms: an expressive writing group or an active control group. Although expressive writing results were inconclusive, there was a general effect of time, which may be reflective of a natural recovery process. Given the prevalence of stress and depressive reactions in this sample, and the population, exploration into feasible and accessible treatment interventions is warranted. While these results also suggest a potential natural recovery for some participants, interventions for support in the short-term timeframe after childbirth may continue to be useful.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Janis, Beth M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Military Suicide Prevention and Response

Description: This report discusses suicide among military service members, including the scope of the issue, efforts previously taken to address it, and considerations for confronting the issue in the future.
Date: April 30, 2018
Creator: Kamarck, Kristy N. & McKinsey, Eva G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Neuropsychological Functioning in Active Duty Soldiers with Physical and/or Psychological Trauma

Description: This quasi-experimental study investigates neuropsychological functioning differences between 63 active duty soldiers who were placed into three groups (MTBI, PTSD, control) to provide better information for differentiating PTSD and MTBI. The ANAM and MicroCog were utilized to measure psychomotor speed, memory, and attention. Participants with PTSD performed worse on most measures of psychomotor speed and attention, and endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety when compared to MTBI and control participants. Further, attention appears to be the best cognitive domain for differentiating PTSD from MTBI, whereas memory variables did not differentiate these groups. Clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Klein, Robert S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contributing Factors in the Development of Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Among Survivors of Interpersonal Violence

Description: An understanding of factors that contribute to Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) is of considerable importance to inform the prevention and treatment of the disorder. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the etiology of CPTSD is of interest since most research to date focuses on the etiology of PTSD. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to test the hypothesized prediction between childhood exposure to violence, childhood attachment, current interpersonal factors, and CPTSD symptoms. Using data from a community clinic and shelter serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, a partial least squares path analysis approach was employed to test the model’s strength in predicting contributing factors of CPTSD. Results support the proposed model, however, an alternative and more parsimonious model was found to be superior and revealed relationships between interpersonal variables and CPTSD. Specifically, women who reported child abuse and poor attachment with either parent, a perceived lack of current emotional and tangible support, and recent intimate partner violence (IPV) also reported symptoms of CPTSD. However, other variables, such as adult attachment avoidance and anxiety did not influence IPV or CPTSD as expected. Ultimately, the current findings lend support for Herman’s (1992) original conceptualization of CPTSD symptoms observed in survivors of prolonged and repeated trauma. Implications of these findings are discussed and results highlight the importance of assessing the contextual factors (e.g., social support, family environment) when a victim of prolonged trauma comes for treatment. Lastly, treatment implications and specific points of intervention are presented.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Marchesani, Estee Simpkins
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of Hot and Cool Executive Functioning Following Trauma Using the Traditional Stroop Task, Emotional Stroop Task, and a Novel Implicit Association Test

Description: Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event and develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) frequently show deficits in both primarily “cool” and “hot” cognitive executive functions (e.g., traditional & emotional Stroop tasks, respectively) that can be impacted by high affective salience. Given the dimensional nature of psychopathology, questions remain about individuals within the general population who have experienced trauma but do not meet full criteria for PTSD and yet may manifest problems in these areas, especially areas of hot and cool executive functioning (EF). Thus, the current project was designed to assess hot and cool EF in a relatively large sample of individuals from the general population who have experienced trauma and currently demonstrate sub-clinical levels of post-traumatic symptoms. The Stroop task, Emotional Stroop task, and a novel modified Implicit Association Test were utilized to assess EF across a spectrum of individuals with varying traumatic histories and level of post-traumatic symptoms. Results suggest that a greater frequency of trauma experiences was moderately associated with worse performance on both hot and cool executive functioning measures. Specifically, females within the sample evidenced a close relationship between traumatic experiences, post-trauma symptoms, and executive functioning. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Sullivan, Erin
Partner: UNT Libraries

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-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Life Beyond Betrayal: the Influence of Self-as-context on Self-complexity and Posttraumatic Stress

Description: While current research indicates that traumas high in social betrayal are more closely associated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and identity disturbances than are traumas low in betrayal, the psychological mechanisms by which identity problems occur are less understood. The current project explored the relationships between traumas high and low in betrayal and their influence on self-complexity, through the RFT and ACT conceptualization of three types of self-experiencing: self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context. The roles of experiential avoidance, dissociation, and severity of PTSD symptoms were also considered within this framework. A sample of 548 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed online self-report questionnaires, and results suggested that self-as-context more strongly predicted PTSD symptoms than trauma exposure, dissociation, and experiential avoidance. Moreover, high betrayal trauma was found to be a stronger negative predictor of self-as-context than low betrayal trauma. Exposure to trauma was found to significantly predict self-complexity, and self-as-context more strongly predicted self-complexity than did self-as-process. Interestingly, self-as-context did not moderate the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms, nor between trauma exposure and self-complexity. Implications of the current study’s findings, as well as suggestions for further research related to the impact of interpersonal betrayal on the self and psychological health, are discussed.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Sinha, Aditi
Partner: UNT Libraries