Psychiatric reactions to continuous traumatic stress: A Latent Profile Analysis of two Israeli samples

Liat Itzhaky, Mark Gelkopf, Yafit Levin, Jacob Y. Stein, Zahava Solomon

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23 Scopus citations


Many individuals worldwide are exposed to continuous traumatic stress (CTS). However, the psychiatric sequela of CTS and the relevance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnostic criteria in this situation have yet to be determined. Filling this gap, the present study assessed psychiatric reactions to CTS and the relationship between such reactions and functional impairment among two representative samples of adults exposed to ongoing shelling over 6 (n = 387) and 9 years (n = 468). Assessment included PTSD symptomatology (i.e., intrusion, avoidance, hyperarousal), anxiety, somatization, and depression. Profile categorization aimed to underscore variations in symptom clustering and severity, and determine whether or not a profile is dominated by PTSD symptoms. Latent Profile analyses (LPA) of sample I revealed four distinct symptoms profiles: (1) ‘symptomatically resilient’; (2) ‘symptomatically low-moderate’; (3) ‘symptomatically moderate-high’; and (4) ‘symptomatically overall high’. LPA of sample II revealed three distinct symptoms profiles: (1) ‘symptomatically resilient’; (2) ‘symptomatically low-moderate’; (3) “symptomatically moderate-high”. Moreover, profile variation was implicated in dysfunction. Consistent with studies focusing on single trauma exposure, the findings revealed that the most prevalent profile was the symptomatically resilient, indicating that most people exposed to CTS seem to evince a scarce number of psychiatric symptoms. Moreover, reactions to CTS proved broader than the existing PTSD symptomatology. Examining symptom dominance and severity in relation to impairment and dysfunction, and clinical considerations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Continuous traumatic stress
  • Ongoing exposure
  • PTSD
  • War


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