The Frequency and Impact of Exposure to Potentially Traumatic Events Over the Life Course.

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2013-10-01

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Abstract

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.

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10.1177/2167702613485076

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Ogle, Christin M, David C Rubin, Dorthe Berntsen and Ilene C Siegler (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 https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9766.

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Rubin

David C. Rubin

Juanita M. Kreps Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

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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 and oral traditions, as well as prose. I have also studied memory as it is more commonly done in experimental psychology laboratories using lists. In addition to this purely behavioral research, which I plan to continue, I work on memory in clinical populations with the aid of a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study PTSD and on the underlying neural basis of memory the aid of a National Institute of Aging grant to study autobiographical memory using fMRI.






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