Trauma centrality and PTSD in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan

Adam D Brown, Daniel Antonius, Michael Kramer, James C Root, William Hirst
Journal of Traumatic Stress 2010, 23 (4): 496-9
Research has demonstrated that the extent to which an individual integrates a traumatic event into their identity ("trauma centrality") positively correlates with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. No research to date has examined trauma centrality in individuals exposed to combat stress. This study investigated trauma centrality using the abridged Centrality of Event Scale (Berntsen & Rubin, 2006) among Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom combat veterans (n = 46). Multiple regression analyses demonstrated that trauma centrality predicted PTSD symptoms. Trauma centrality and PTSD symptoms remained significantly correlated when controlling for depression in subgroups of veterans with or without probable PTSD. This study replicates and extends findings that placing trauma at the center of one's identity is associated with PTSD symptomatology.

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