Gender mediates how peritraumatic emotions predict posttraumatic emotions
PHILADELPHIA — The association between peritraumatic disgust and PTSD symptoms was mediated by posttraumatic disgust and guilt among men and women, according to data presented at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America annual conference.
“Exploring variability in emotional reactivity and responding during and after trauma may clarify why a substantial portion of individuals recover naturally after such an event, while others subsequently develop PTSD,” Jessica Bomyea, PhD, of VA San Diego Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health, and colleagues wrote. “Although PTSD has traditionally been conceptualized as an anxiety disorder, disgust experienced peri- and posttraumatically may be associated with adverse outcomes after trauma, particularly for women.”
To determine trauma-related peri- and posttraumatic disgust and fear emotions among veterans seeking treatment for PTSD secondary to interpersonal trauma and gender differences in associations between fear, disgust and PTSD symptoms, researchers assessed 100 veterans from a Veterans Affairs interpersonal trauma clinic.
Analysis indicated peri- and posttraumatic fear and disgust were associated with current PTSD, depression and disability scores.
Regression analysis indicated that an association between gender and peritraumatic emotions predicted posttraumatic disgust and anxiety.
Posttraumatic anxiety was associated with peritraumtic fear in women (P < .001) and peritraumatic disgust in men (P < .01).
Posttraumatic disgust was associated with peritraumatic disgust in both women (P < .05) and men (P < .001). However, posttraumatic disgust was inversely associated with peritraumatic fear in men (P < .01)
“The relationship between peritraumatic disgust and PTSD symptoms was mediated by posttraumatic disgust and guilt-related distress for both men and women,” the researchers wrote. “Results highlight the potential importance of assessing disgust and guilt following trauma, and underscore the importance of gender in differentially predicting trauma-related emotional reactions.” – by Amanda Oldt
Bomyea J, et al. The moderating role of gender in relationships between trauma-related emotions, guilt, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Presented at: Anxiety and Depression Association of America Conference; March 31-April 3, 2016; Philadelphia.
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