Relationships Among Trauma Exposure, Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Self-Reported Health in Women: Replication and Extension


Kimerling, Rachel, Gretchen A. Clum, and Jessica Wolfe. 2000. "Relationships Among Trauma Exposure, Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms, and Self-reported Health in Women: Replication and Extension." Journal of Traumatic Stress 13 (1): 115-28.

Authors: Rachel Kimerling, Gretchen A. Clum, Jessica Wolfe


Fifty-two women who served during the Vietnam era were assessed for war-zone exposure, traumatic life events, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and self-reported health status. Symptoms of PTSD were examined as mediators in the relationship between traumatic exposure and subsequent reports of health problems. Results showed that PTSD symptoms accounted significantly for variance in health problems reported by women with prior traumatic stressor exposure. When the cardinal symptom domains of PTSD (reexperiencing, numbing, avoidance, hyperarousal) were analyzed separately, the symptom cluster representing hyperarousal accounted uniquely for the variance associated with health complaints, beyond that contributed by other symptom clusters. Discussion of the results focuses on mechanisms underlying the relationship between specific symptoms of PTSD and self-reported health. Implications for intervention within the medical system are also considered.

Keywords: trauma, post, mental health, female veterans

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2000

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