Role of Combat Trauma in PTSD Is Reinforced

By Johnson, Kate | Clinical Psychiatry News, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Role of Combat Trauma in PTSD Is Reinforced


Johnson, Kate, Clinical Psychiatry News


MONTREAL. -- Predisposition is an important factor, but a traumatic event remains the necessary trigger in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder, a new study of identical twins indicates.

"Embedded within the diagnostic criteria of PTSD is a presumed causal event, but this assumption has come under scrutiny, as a recent study suggested that the symptoms of PTSD may merely represent general psychiatric symptoms that would have developed even in the absence of a trauma (J. Anxiety Disord. 2007;21:176-82), explained Dr. Roger Pitman, director of the PTSD and psychophysiology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, both in Boston.

Speaking at the meeting, Dr. Pitman launched new evidence to support the widely held theory that trauma is central to the development of PTSD.

The study comprised 104 Vietnam combat veterans and their nonveteran identical twins. Of the veterans, 50 had PTSD and 54 did not, whereas none of the nonveteran identical twins had the disorder (J. Clin. Psychiatry 2010;71:1324-30).

"If the PTSD-affected veterans had predisposing vulnerability to psychopathology on a genetic or environmental basis, then that ought to be shared by their twins," he explained.

Psychometric measures - including the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), and the Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD - were used to assess symptoms for all veterans and their twins. For the nonveterans, questions about combat trauma were replaced with questions about their most traumatic experience.

As expected, the evaluations revealed higher scores on all measures for the PTSD-affected veterans, compared with their identical twins. All nonveteran twins had scores similar to those of the veterans without PTSD.

"These results do not support the idea that the people with PTSD would have been symptomatic even without the traumatic event," Dr. Pitman said. "They do support the conclusion that the mental disorders found in PTSD result from a trauma."

About one-third of individuals who were exposed to a traumatic event will go on to develop PTSD.

This suggests that certain people might have an underlying predisposition to developing the disorder, Dr. Pitman said.

"We called the twins of the PTSD-affected veterans 'high risk' because they had a shared familial environment and shared genes," he noted. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Role of Combat Trauma in PTSD Is Reinforced
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.