Posttraumatic symptoms as a mediator between childhood abuse and aggressive behavior in lower SES African-American men
Evces, Mark Richard
MetadataShow full item record
The relationship between self-reported child abuse, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and aggressive behavior was examined. One hundred and seventy seven men were interviewed in primary care and obstetrics/gynecology waiting rooms of a large, inner city hospital. Rates of abuse, PTSD, and aggressive behavior were higher than those found in normative epidemiological data. A significant, positive correlation was found between history of abuse, frequency of current PTSD symptoms, and frequency of aggressive behaviors. Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms significantly mediated the relationship between measurements of child physical abuse and a non-weapon aggression. PTSD symptoms also trended towards mediating between measurements of child emotional abuse, and non-weapon aggression and theft behavior. These findings support previous “cycle of violence” studies that posit a relationship between traumatic childhood victimization and subsequent aggression by the victim. PTSD appears to be one pathway leading from early traumatic experiences to later aggressive behaviors.