Attributions for different types of traumatic events and posttraumatic stress among women
Zinzow, Heidi M.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of attributions in the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms among women after exposure to different types of traumatic events. Participants were 424 female undergraduates who previously experienced a serious accident, natural disaster, child abuse, or adult interpersonal violence. Two models were examined to test hypotheses regarding mediating and moderating effects. The first model employed path analysis, with results indicating a significant indirect pathway from event type to posttraumatic stress through global attributions. Interpersonal violence survivors exhibited the highest levels of global attributions and posttraumatic stress symptoms. The second model employed regression analyses, which revealed significant interactions between event type and attributions in predicting posttraumatic stress. Stable attributions were associated with increased symptoms in interpersonal violence survivors and decreased symptoms in natural disaster survivors. These findings have implications for identifying women at most risk for posttraumatic stress disorder, and for improving cognitive interventions for survivors of different types of traumatic events.