Perception Counts: The Relationships of Inner Perceptions of Trauma and PTSD Symptoms Across Time

Yuval Palgi, Sharon Avidor, Amit Shrira, Ehud Bodner, Menachem Ben-Ezra, Oleg Zaslavsky, Yaakov Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study examined how inner perceptions that develop in the aftermath of exposure to trauma attenuate the association between posttraumatic symptoms across time and what the reciprocal relations between inner perceptions of trauma and posttraumatic symptoms are. Method: The present article is based on two studies. The data in Study 1 are drawn from three waves of a longitudinal study of community-dwelling midlife adults and older adults residing in the south of Israel. In Wave 1, 339 participants were interviewed (mean age = 65.44, SD = 9.77). Of these participants, 170 and 132, respectively, participated in Waves 2 (one year later) and 3 (two years later). Posttraumatic stress symptoms were self-reported in all three waves. Inner perceptions of trauma were assessed with the Subjective Traumatic Outlook scale (STO) and Centrality of Event Scale (CES), administered at Wave 3. Study 2 is drawn from two waves of research of young adults. Wave 1 included 138 participants (mean age = 32.01, SD = 10.57) from a convenience sample. At Wave 2, 128 participants were interviewed again a month later. Participants reported their level of posttraumatic stress symptoms and completed the STO and the CES in both waves. Results: In Study 1, analyses showed stronger associations between posttraumatic symptoms across waves among those who reported higher subjective traumatic outlook and higher centrality of events. In Study 2, significant reciprocal relationships between PTSD and STO were found, but whereas the W1 PTSD–W2 CES path was significant, the W1 CES–W2 PTSD path was not. Conclusions: The findings emphasize that overintegration and especially disintegration of the pretraumatic identity with traumatic experiences are associated with the deleterious effects of long-lasting exposure to traumatic events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-375
Number of pages15
JournalPsychiatry (New York)
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2018

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