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Hopelessness as a Risk Factor for Post‐traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Among Interpersonal Violence Survivors

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Post-traumatic stress disorder often co-occurs with depression, and they may share common risk factors. One possible common cognitive risk factor is hopelessness. Thus, we examined whether hopelessness was related to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Participants were 202 female survivors of interpersonal violence. Relationships between self-reported and interviewer-rated measures of hopelessness gathered at 2 weeks post-trauma and self-reported and interviewer-rated symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder gathered at 2 weeks and 3 months post-trauma were examined. Hierarchical, simultaneous regression analyses that co-varied trauma type revealed that hopelessness was related to self-reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, both concurrently and prospectively. Follow-up analyses revealed that relationships between hopelessness and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder were due almost entirely to shared variance with depression. No relationships were found between hopelessness and interviewer-rated symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Keywords: attributions; beliefs; cognitions; co‐morbidity; depression; major depression; post‐traumatic stress disorder; risk factors; trauma

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Missouri, St Louis, USA

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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