Peace and war: trajectories of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms before, during, and after military deployment in Afghanistan.

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2012-12

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Abstract

In the study reported here, we examined posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in 746 Danish soldiers measured on five occasions before, during, and after deployment to Afghanistan. Using latent class growth analysis, we identified six trajectories of change in PTSD symptoms. Two resilient trajectories had low levels across all five times, and a new-onset trajectory started low and showed a marked increase of PTSD symptoms. Three temporary-benefit trajectories, not previously described in the literature, showed decreases in PTSD symptoms during (or immediately after) deployment, followed by increases after return from deployment. Predeployment emotional problems and predeployment traumas, especially childhood adversities, were predictors for inclusion in the nonresilient trajectories, whereas deployment-related stress was not. These findings challenge standard views of PTSD in two ways. First, they show that factors other than immediately preceding stressors are critical for PTSD development, with childhood adversities being central. Second, they demonstrate that the development of PTSD symptoms shows heterogeneity, which indicates the need for multiple measurements to understand PTSD and identify people in need of treatment.

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10.1177/0956797612457389

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Berntsen, Dorthe, Kim B Johannessen, Yvonne D Thomsen, Mette Bertelsen, Rick H Hoyle and David C Rubin (2012). Peace and war: trajectories of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms before, during, and after military deployment in Afghanistan. Psychol Sci, 23(12). pp. 1557–1565. 10.1177/0956797612457389 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9771.

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Scholars@Duke

Hoyle

Rick Hoyle

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Research in my lab concerns the means by which adolescents and emerging adults manage pursuit of their goals through self-regulation. We take a broad view of self-regulation, accounting for the separate and interactive influences of personality, environment (e.g., home, school, neighborhood), cognition and emotion, and social influences on the many facets of goal management. Although we occasionally study these influences in controlled laboratory experiments, our preference is to study the pursuit of longer-term, personally meaningful goals “in the wild.” Much of our work is longitudinal and involves repeated assessments focused on the pursuit of specific goals over time. Some studies span years and involve data collection once or twice per year. Others span weeks and involve intensive repeated assessments, sometimes several times per day. We use these rich data to model the means by which people manage real goals in the course of everyday life.

In conjunction with this work, we spend considerable time and effort on developing and refining means of measuring or observing the many factors at play in self-regulation. In addition to developing self-report measures of self-control and grit and measures of the processes we expect to wax and wane over time in the course of goal pursuit, we are working on unobtrusive approaches to tracking goal pursuit and progress through mobile phones and wearable devices.

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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