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Cognitive Attributions and Traumatic Experiences

1 June 2007


The hypotheses that explanatory style moderates current PTSD, depression and alcohol consumption in students who have experienced potentially traumatic events, such as child physical abuse, child emotional abuse, and child sexual abuse, was examined. Participants were 127 graduate students (aged 18-65 yrs) from a private university in Oregon. It was found that the experience of general traumatic events and child physical and/or sexual abuse predicated increased PTSD symptoms in males and females. Furthermore, it was found that the experience of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse significantly predicted depressive symptoms in females but not males. Additionally, it was found that generally traumatic events and or childhood abuse did not predict alcohol abuse in males or females. Lastly, it was found that explanatory style did not moderate depressive symptoms, PTSD symptoms, or alcohol abuse in males or females who had experienced potentially traumatic events, including child physical abuse and sexual abuse. Clinical implications of these results are discussed and suggestions for future research are made.


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