The Frequency and Impact of Exposure to Potentially Traumatic Events Over the Life Course.
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We examined the frequency and impact of exposure to potentially traumatic events among a nonclinical sample of older adults (n = 3,575), a population typically underrepresented in epidemiological research concerning the prevalence of traumatic events. Current PTSD symptom severity and the centrality of events to identity were assessed for events nominated as currently most distressing. Approximately 90% of participants experienced one or more potentially traumatic events. Events that occurred with greater frequency early in the life course were associated with more severe PTSD symptoms compared to events that occurred with greater frequency during later decades. Early life traumas, however, were not more central to identity. Results underscore the differential impact of traumatic events experienced throughout the life course. We conclude with suggestions for further research concerning mechanisms that promote the persistence of post-traumatic stress related to early life traumas and empirical evaluation of psychotherapeutic treatments for older adults with PTSD.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1177/2167702613485076
Publication InfoBerntsen, D; Ogle, Christin; Rubin, David C; & Siegler, Ilene C (2013). The Frequency and Impact of Exposure to Potentially Traumatic Events Over the Life Course. Clin Psychol Sci, 1(4). pp. 426-434. 10.1177/2167702613485076. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/9766.
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Juanita M. Kreps Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
For .pdfs of all publications click here My main research interest has been in long-term memory, especially for complex (or "real-world") stimuli. This work includes the study of autobiographical memory
Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
My research efforts are in the area of developmental health psychology and organized around understanding the role of personality in health and disease in middle and later life. My primary research activity is as Principal Investigator of the UNC Alumni Heart Study (UNCAHS) a prospective epidemiologic study of 5000 middle aged men and women and 1200 of their spouses that evaluates the role of personality on coronary heart disease and coronary heart disease risk, cancer, and normal a
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