The impact of the developmental timing of trauma exposure on PTSD symptoms and psychosocial functioning among older adults.
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The present study examined the impact of the developmental timing of trauma exposure on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and psychosocial functioning in a large sample of community-dwelling older adults (N = 1,995). Specifically, we investigated whether the negative consequences of exposure to traumatic events were greater for traumas experienced during childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, midlife, or older adulthood. Each of these developmental periods is characterized by age-related changes in cognitive and social processes that may influence psychological adjustment following trauma exposure. Results revealed that older adults who experienced their currently most distressing traumatic event during childhood exhibited more severe symptoms of PTSD and lower subjective happiness compared with older adults who experienced their most distressing trauma after the transition to adulthood. Similar findings emerged for measures of social support and coping ability. The differential effects of childhood compared with later life traumas were not fully explained by differences in cumulative trauma exposure or by differences in the objective and subjective characteristics of the events. Our findings demonstrate the enduring nature of traumatic events encountered early in the life course and underscore the importance of examining the developmental context of trauma exposure in investigations of the long-term consequences of traumatic experiences.
Analysis of Variance
Life Change Events
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Surveys and Questionnaires
Trauma Severity Indices
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1037/a0031985
Publication InfoOgle, Christin; Rubin, David C; & Siegler, Ilene C (2013). The impact of the developmental timing of trauma exposure on PTSD symptoms and psychosocial functioning among older adults. Dev Psychol, 49(11). pp. 2191-2200. 10.1037/a0031985. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9772.
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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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