Mental Defeat and Cumulative Trauma Experiences Predict Trauma-Related Psychopathology : Evidence From a Postconflict Population in Northern Uganda

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2017
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Wilker, Sarah
Kleim, Birgit
Geiling, Angelika
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Zusammenfassung

The peritraumatic cognitive process of mental defeat, the complete loss of inner resistance, has been identified as a key predictor of PTSD. Yet, most evidence on cognitive risk factors stems from industrialized countries where survivors typically report few traumata. Research from postconflict settings indicates that individual differences decrease with accumulating traumatic experiences, as almost everybody develops PTSD at extreme levels of trauma load. Would this leave less room for the impact of cognitive processes? In a sample of 227 Ugandan rebel war survivors, we investigated whether mental defeat influences trauma-related psychopathology in regression models accounting for cumulative trauma exposure. We found strong main effects of mental defeat on lifetime PTSD risk, current PTSD severity and dissociative symptoms, but no mental defeat × trauma load interaction effects. Our results indicate that peritraumatic mental defeat is central to understand individual differences in psychological reactions after single traumatic events as well as multiple traumatization.

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Fachgebiet (DDC)
150 Psychologie
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mental defeat, cognitive risk factors, posttraumatic stress disorder, shutdown dissociation, building block effect
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ISO 690WILKER, Sarah, Birgit KLEIM, Angelika GEILING, Anett PFEIFFER, Thomas ELBERT, Iris-Tatjana KOLASSA, 2017. Mental Defeat and Cumulative Trauma Experiences Predict Trauma-Related Psychopathology : Evidence From a Postconflict Population in Northern Uganda. In: Clinical Psychological Science. 2017, 5(6), pp. 974-984. ISSN 2167-7026. eISSN 2167-7034. Available under: doi: 10.1177/2167702617719946
BibTex
@article{Wilker2017-11Menta-41286,
  year={2017},
  doi={10.1177/2167702617719946},
  title={Mental Defeat and Cumulative Trauma Experiences Predict Trauma-Related Psychopathology : Evidence From a Postconflict Population in Northern Uganda},
  number={6},
  volume={5},
  issn={2167-7026},
  journal={Clinical Psychological Science},
  pages={974--984},
  author={Wilker, Sarah and Kleim, Birgit and Geiling, Angelika and Pfeiffer, Anett and Elbert, Thomas and Kolassa, Iris-Tatjana}
}
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