Facets of Emotion Regulation and Posttraumatic Stress: An Indirect Effect via Peritraumatic Dissociation
Research suggests important associations between emotion regulation difficulties and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology, with prospective studies indicating that emotion regulation difficulties may lead to increased PTSD symptoms. Peritraumatic dissociation is considered an important and consistent predictor of PTSD symptoms. The present study examines whether peritraumatic dissociation accounts for associations between facets of emotion regulation difficulties and PTSD symptoms. Adult women with a history of sexual victimization participated in an interview to assess past-month PTSD symptoms and self-report questionnaires to assess peritraumatic dissociation and emotion regulation difficulties. Results showed a partial indirect effect of three facets of emotion regulation difficulties (i.e., nonacceptance of negative emotional responses, limited access to emotion regulation strategies perceived as effective in the context of distress, and impulse control difficulties when experiencing negative emotions) on PTSD symptoms through peritraumatic dissociation. Reverse indirect effects models were also explored. The present study offers preliminary evidence that peritraumatic dissociation by traumatized individuals may signal the presence of specific emotion regulation deficits, which may indicate increased risk of heightened PTSD severity.
KeywordsEmotion regulation Dissociation Posttraumatic stress PTSD
This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (F31 MH-092994; PI: Badour). Dr. Badour receives support from a K12 award (DA-0355150; PI: Thomas Curry) through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Office for Research on Women’s Health (ORWH). Ms. Jones receives support from the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) at the University of Kentucky. These views do not necessarily represent those of the National Institutes of Health.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Alyssa C. Jones, Christal L. Badour, C. Alex Brake, Caitlyn O. Hood and Matthew T. Feldner declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article
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