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Posttraumatic Symptoms in Japanese Bereaved Family Members with Special Regard to Suicide and Homicide Cases

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The authors investigated posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in Japanese bereaved family members using a questionnaire. Participants were bereaved as a result of suicide and homicide (n = 51 and 49, respectively), with natural death (n = 56) as a control; and their relationships to the deceased were parent–child (n = 79), conjugal (n = 42), and others (n = 35). With regard to the 3 main PTSD-related criteria, (a) re-experiencing symptoms were not dependent on the manner of death or the relationship to the deceased; (b) avoidance behaviors were more highly related to homicide than natural death for relatives other than parent–child and conjugal relationships; and (c) hyperarousal and maladaptation symptoms were more serious for conjugal loss. These findings suggest that avoidance behaviors in homicidal cases are more closely associated with a distant family relationship, whereas conjugal loss is traumatic, irrespective of the manner of death, often causing hyperarousal and maladaptation symptoms.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Legal Medicine,Osaka City University Medical School, Osaka, Japan

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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