Hardiness and sensation seeking as potential predictors of former prisoners of wars' posttraumatic stress symptoms trajectories over a 17-year period

Gadi Zerach, Karen Inge Karstoft, Zahava Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective Little is known about trajectories of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) among former prisoners of war (ex-POWs) and the predictors of those trajectories. This study aimed to assess long-term PTSS trajectories among ex-POWs and comparable veterans and the role of hardiness and sensation seeking in predicting PTSS trajectory. Method A sample of 189 Israeli ex-POWs and 160 comparable combatants participated in a 17 year longitudinal study with three waves of measurements following the 1973 Yom Kippur War (T1: 1991, T2: 2003, T3: 2008). Participants completed validated self-report measures. Results Latent growth mixture modeling (LGMM) identified four longitudinal PTSS trajectories. Among ex-POWs, the majority of participants were classified in trajectories with “low-increasing” or “medium-increasing” levels of PTSS. Among the comparable veterans, however, the majority of participants were classified in a trajectory with “low” levels of PTSS. Ex-POWs with high levels of hardiness were less likely to belong to the “high” or “medium-increasing” PTSS trajectories, compared to the low-fluctuating trajectory. Conclusions The long-term course of PTSS is heterogeneous among both veterans and ex-POWs, with chronic and increasing symptom patterns being more prevalent amongst ex-POWs. Ex-POWs should be considered an at-risk population for exacerbated PTSS trajectories that is related to hardiness personality construct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-181
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume218
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Captivity
  • Hardiness
  • PTSD
  • PTSS
  • Sensation seeking

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