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Trauma-related symptoms after violent crime: the role of risk factors before, during and eight months after victimization
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Psychiatry.
2009 (English)In: The Open Psychology Journal, ISSN 1874-3501/09, Vol. 2, 77-88 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of current suffering and the role of peritraumatic emotions and other risk factors for development of post-traumatic and general symptoms eight months post crime. Questionnaires assessing trauma-specific symptoms (HTQ) and general psychiatric symptoms (SCL-90) was used along with a semistructured interview covering subjective reactions of 41 civilian victims of interpersonal crime. Victims proved to still be suffering, in varying degrees, from post-traumatic symptoms and other psychological distress. Females reported more trauma-specific symptoms and other comorbid conditions than males. Prior trauma, adverse childhood, being female, previous psychiatric history, and unemployment were all associated with more distress. Peritraumatic reactions (especially secondary emotions following cognitive appraisals after the event) predicted the three core PTSD symptoms and comorbid conditions. Apart from the PTSD symptoms, an assessment of background factors, general psychiatric symptoms, peritraumatic emotions and their cognitive associated scripts in the initial post-trauma period could be helpful in identifying victims who are at risk of developing trauma symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bentham Open , 2009. Vol. 2, 77-88 p.
Keyword [en]
Crime victims, risk factors, PTSD, psychiatric symptoms, peritraumatic emotions
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-29775DOI: 10.2174/1874350100902010077OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-29775DiVA: diva2:278020
Available from: 2009-11-23 Created: 2009-11-23 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Distress after criminal victimization: quantitative and qualitative aspects in a two-year perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Distress after criminal victimization: quantitative and qualitative aspects in a two-year perspective
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores distress and reactions after crime by a previously unknown perpetrator in a two-year perspective. Distress was investigated at eight months and two years, using quantitative and qualitative methods. The specific aims of the thesis were (I) to explore the level of distress and the role of risk factors for post-traumatic and general symptoms eight months post crime, (II) to examine the natural course of adjustment at a two-year follow-up in female and male victims of interpersonal violence, III) to investigate the relationship between shame, guilt, and distress among 35 victims of a single severe violent crime, and (IV) to use qualitative analysis to describe individual post-crime trajectories. The following questionnaires were used: Symptom Check List 90 (Derogatis & Cleary, 1977), Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (Mollica et al., 1992), the Test for Self-Conscious Affect (Tagney et al., 1989). Data were also obtained via semi-structured interviews, including the use of visual analog scales for subjective mental health measures. The participants in paper I were male and female Swedish adult victims of reported interpersonal violence eight months earlier. Participants were between 18 and 66 years of age (n=41). At follow-up (Paper II) the sample size had decreased (n=35). In paper III, adult victims (aged 18-64) of reported interpersonal violence were assessed within two weeks of reported crime (n=35). In paper IV a subsample of 11 adult crime victims were drawn from among the participants from papers I and II.

Paper I showed that women reported more distress than men. Prior trauma, adverse childhood, female sex, previous psychiatric history, and unemployment were all associated with more distress. Peritraumatic reactions (especially secondary emotions following cognitive appraisals after the event) predicted the three core PTSD symptoms and comorbid conditions, together with female sex and psychiatric history. Paper II confirmed most of the risk factors at eight months and that, in general, no further recovery took place between eight months and two years. Paper III showed that shame-proneness and event-related shame were highly intercorrelated and related to higher symptoms levels, while the guilt measures were unrelated to each other as well as to symptoms. Paper IV explored narratives of victimization; the results suggest that individual differences within the same trajectories of recovery should be expected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2011. 54 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1415
Keyword
criminal victimization, posttraumatic distress, risk factors
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42781 (URN)978-91-7459-181-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-05-13, NUS, Byggnad 23 (S-plan) Sal A, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-04-19 Created: 2011-04-13 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved

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