ERIC Number: ED335584
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: 0
Incidence of Traumatic Events and Posttraumatic Psychological Symptoms among College Students.
Lauterbach, Dean; Vrana, Scott R.
Most research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been conducted on war veterans; little is known about the incidence of traumatic events, PTSD, and posttraumatic symptoms among other populations. This study was undertaken to assess the incidence of traumatic events of sufficient intensity to potentially cause PTSD among a sample of 440 college students. Subjects completed the Traumatic Events scale, the Purdue PTSD Scale, the Impact of Events Scale, the Mississippi Scale for PTSD, the Beck Depression Inventory, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Alcohol Questionnaire. Only 17% of the respondents reported experiencing no traumatic event. One-third of the sample had experienced four or more separate events, and 9% of the sample had experienced seven or more events. Unexpected deaths, accidents, and other life-threatening situations were reported frequently. Males reported more accidents and life-threats; females reported more rape or abuse. The findings suggest that these traumatic events often result in significant psychological symptoms, and people who are survivors of rape, abuse, crime, or an event they cannot talk about are at particular risk. Experiencing multiple events appeared to increase the risk for psychological symptoms. A relationship was found between traumatic experiences and later anxiety, depression and PTSD symptomatology. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (63rd, Chicago, IL, May 2-4, 1991).