Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Predictors of PTSD

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Predictors of PTSD

Article excerpt

Adams andBoscarino (2006) investigated contextual and psychosocial factors related to adults' experiences of the World Trade Center Disaster (WTCD) of September 11, 2001, and the means through which the factors impacted the course of PTSD. The authors strove to explore reasons for delayed- and remitted-PTSD, an area prior studies had yet to investigate.

A two-wave panel study was used to survey English and Spanish speaking adults who resided in New York City (NYC) on the day of the WTCD. The first wave of data collection occurred 1 year after the WTCD, and the second wave 2 years after. A telephone survey method was implemented, wherein random digit dialing was used to obtain a sample population that was stratified proportionately according to NYC boroughs and gender. The telephone interviewing procedures were the same for both waves of the study, and entailed interviewers utilizing a computer-assisted telephone interviewing system. At year 1 (Yi), 2,368 individuals were interviewed. The same participants were contacted at year 2 (Y2) , resulting in 1,681 re-interviews.

To measure PTSD consistent with DSM-IV guidelines, a PTSD scale was used that had been previously developed for telephone surveying and implemented in other national research studies (Resnick, Kilpatrick, Dansky, Saunders, 8c Best, 1993). The scale explored symptoms related to experiences of the WTCD, the most stressful traumatic event other than the WTCD, and any other traumatic event. Levels of PTSD were identified using Gray, Bolton, and Litz's (2004) PTSD categories: resilient (at Yi and Y2 did not meet criteria), remitted (at Yi met criteria, but not at Y2), delayed (at Yi did not meet criteria, but did meet at Y2) , and acute (met criteria at Yi and Y2).

Predictor variables obtained from interviews included demographics (i.e., age, gender, college education, race/ethnicity), three stressors that potentially put participants at riskfor PTSD, and psychosocial resources (i.e., social support, self-esteem). The first stressor variable was exposure to the WTCD, measured by a scale querying 14 events that may have been experienced that day. A negative life event scale assessed a second stressor variable, the sum of eight negative life events that a respondent may have experienced within the 12 months prior to the WTCD, or for Y2 since the WTCD. …

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